Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) in Bardiya National Park, Nepal: Population, habitat and threats

Ashish Bashyal, Sandeep Shrestha, Kishor P Luitel, Bhupendea P Yadav, Bed Kahadka, Jeffret W Lang, Llewellyn Densmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


1. The Critically Endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) residing within BardiyaNational Park (BNP) in Nepal constitutes the sixth major sub-population of thisunique lineage; however, this population is not well studied. A 46 km protectedstretch of the Babai River and a 60 km stretch of the Karnali River in and aroundBNP were surveyed for gharials in early 2017 and in 2019.2. Gharial counts in 2017 – 17 from the Babai and one from the Karnali rivers –consisted of 10 adults, five sub-adults and three juveniles. In 2019, 19 gharialswere counted – 18 for the Babai and one for the Karnali – comprising 11 adults,six sub-adults and two juveniles. In the Babai River within BNP, four breedinggroups were identified. Gharials in BNP prefer sandy vs. rocky banks for baskingand completely avoid sand-grass and clay banks. Habitat preference did not varywith size class.3. Protected stretches of both rivers inside BNP (76 km) have resident gharial, intacthabitats and few human threats. In contrast
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
StatePublished - Jul 2021


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