|Publication: The Times Of India Lucknow;||Date: Jun 19, 2011;||Section: Times City;||Page: 4|
Gharial hatchlings sighted in Yamuna
Faiz Rahman Siddiqui | TNN
Kanpur: The wildlife experts have spotted nearly 46 gharial hatchlings in Yamuna river at National Chambal Sanctuary on the borders of Etawah and Auraiyya. Gharial hatchlings have been seen in this area for the first time.
Gharials have been declared as ‘critically endangered’ by the International Union For Conservation of Nature. A giant female gharial (around 12-15 feet long) was also sighted near the nesting site.
The hatchlings were noticed in the first week of June in the sand-beds after the 60-90 days of incubation period, the forest officials said.
Rajiv Chauhan, secretary, Society for Conservation of Nature, who is working on gharial conservation, said, “It was during a visit after being informed by the locals of Gohani Kalan village situated at the borders of Etawah and Auraiyya districts, on June 2 that I first spotted nearly 46 eggs of gharial at a nesting site on a Yamuna river bank.”
He added, “The villagers were surprised when they came across unusual beep sounds coming from inside the eggs and alerted us. This happens only when the eggs are about to hatch. It is a very good and positive sign for the nature lovers that for the very first time, gharials have chosen Yamuna river for breeding in India.”
Principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) B K Patnaik said, “It is indeed a good news for wildlife conservationists as gharial is a critically endangered specie. Going by the latest sighting of gharial hatchlings, that too in Yamuna river, their number is surely going to increase.”
Hatchlings in Yamuna at National Chambal Sanctuary
Can we really afford to make such statements at such at early stage in what seems to be a complete turn over from usual nesting habits? "The numbers are sure to increase"! We'd love for that to happen but how does one issue such a statement without waiting to see what actually happens?