BHOPAL: Six months after being declared India’s tiger state, Madhya Pradesh has now secured the tag of being the country’s gharial state. According to the findings of a survey conducted by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) – a leading Indian nature conservation organization – Madhya Pradesh houses a maximum 1,255 gharial population in the country followed by 255 gharials in Bihar.
Confirming the development, MP Forest Minister Umang Singhar said, “As per the WTI survey report, there are 1,255 gharials in the Chambal river in Madhya Pradesh.”
However, as per the forest department officials in the Gwalior-Chambal region’s Morena district, while the WTI report says there are a maximum 1,255 gharials in Chambal, the forest department’s own estimates show there could actually be 1,876 gharials, particularly as 200 Gharials are released every year in the Chambal river that also flows to UP and Rajasthan, besides Madhya Pradesh.
Forest department sources said the Deori Eco Centre in Morena is the prime contributor to boosting the gharial population in MP, as its at this centre where Gharial eggs are hatched and hatchlings are reared up to three years.