The first successful nesting and breeding site of gharial has been found in Nepal in 37 years after 1982.
Over 100 hatchlings of the crocodile species were found in the site in Bardia National Park.
The discovery was made by the conservationists from Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Biodiversity Conservancy Nepal BSN).
The discovery has given new hope to the conservation of the critically endangered species of reptile.
“Understanding whether gharials were breeding in Bardia National Park was considered to be a top priority for the species,” reported Nepali Times.
“The consideration was made as upcoming plans to divert nearby river systems that are currently underway,” infomred ZSL’s Rikki Gumbs.
“The species is limited to around five populations across its entire range,” Gumbs added.
“The discovery is such a positive discovery, and a critical step for the long-term recovery of the species in Nepal,” Gumbs further said.
The gharial is a critically endangered species of crocodile and fewer than 100 adults remain in Nepal and in some parts of India.
This endangered species of reptile have suffered a 98 per cent decline since the 1940s.
Destruction of its riverine habitat caused by construction of dams, irrigation canals, sand-mining, pollution and agriculture are some of the major reasons for its decline
The other reasons include over-hunting for skins, egg collection, accidental bycatch and pollution in the form of toxic effluents into the rivers from factories upstream also led to the decline.
Experts see this discovery as an important one.
Now they can now prioritise this population for conservation action, including conducting feasibility studies into whether the species can be translocated or not.