International Journal of
Biodiversity and Conservation

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biodivers. Conserv.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-243X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 625

Full Length Research Paper

A preliminary investigation into nesting and nest predation of the critically endangered, gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) at Boksar in Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand, India

S. M. Chowfin1* and A. J. Leslie2
1C/o The Gadoli and Manda Khal Wildlife Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 27, Pauri, District Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand, India. 2Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Faculty of AgriSciences, University of Stellenbosch, Matieland, 7600, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 02 May 2012
  •  Published: 28 February 2013

Abstract

The gharial, Gavialis gangeticus, is an endemic crocodilian of the north Indian subcontinent and is also found in the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Surveys in Corbett National Park in 1974 recorded only five gharial whereas current estimates are 42 adults inclusive of 10 adult males and 59 individuals of smaller size classes. This study confirms that the expanded population in the Kalagarh Reservoir is breeding, although nests appear to be subject to significant predation, thought to be by Varanus bengalenis.  Varanids are serious predators on crocodilian eggs in a number of countries. In this case, it is unclear whether such high predation levels are natural situations that apply when they live in a free-flowing river environment, or whether it is a derived state linked to the lake-type environment in which they now reside.

 

Key words: Gharial, Gavialis gangeticus, Corbett Tiger Reserve, Corbett National Park, Boksar, nest predation.

Abbreviation

Abbreviation: CTR, Corbett Tiger Reserve; CNP, Corbett National Park.