Saving the Gharial in India


The Gharial is a critically endangered and unique crocodilian species of extraordinary conservation value. Indeed, it is the rarest large animal on the Indian subcontinent. The goal of our project is to prevent its extinction.

Gharial, Photo: Miroslav Bobek Gharial, Photo: Miroslav Bobek

Back in the 1940s, up to 10,000 adult gharials were estimated to live around the great rivers in the north of the Indian subcontinent. Today, their total number does not exceed 200 adult individuals, of which only 20 are males. The main threats to this species are river pollution, dam construction, and massive-scale fishing operations. Other serious problems include illegal sand mining, which destroys gharial egg-laying grounds, and poaching. The last refuge of the gharial is the Chambal River in northern India, where the vast majority of the remaining wild population survives.

Prague Zoo works together with an international organization called Gharial Conservation Alliance (GCA) to protect the last wild populations. This organization plays a key role in gharial conservation on the Chambal River; its activities, however, are not limited to that zone, but extend throughout India. The GCA carries out research on gharials and their habitat, monitors compliance with the law, advocates for necessary changes to the law, and collaborates with the authorities. It also strives to secure better management of protected areas and champions the environmental education in local communities.

Gharial, Photo: Miroslav Bobek

Where do our funds go?

Every time you visit our zoo, you contribute, the amount of two Czech crowns towards endangered species conservation. In recent years, Prague Zoo has repeatedly used these funds to support the GCA – for instance, by purchasing a boat for the GCA or by supporting collaboration between nature conservationists and the authorities (thereby improving law enforcement). A significant part of the contributed funds goes on the telemetric monitoring of gharials (monitoring transmitter-equipped individuals), carried out by the GCA. Using these transmitters, we can track gharial movements along the Chambal river, study their way of life – and learn how to protect them better. We are also participating in the awareness-raising work among the villagers living on the banks of the Chambal River.

Actual Weather

PRAHA Česko Khovd Mongolsko Yaoundé Kamerun Agra Indie Stara Zagora Bulharsko Jáva, Indonésie Ochrana ptáků v Indonésii Luang Prabang Laos