Croc Surveys 2014

Okay... so I have not been a real good sport with all the readers. I guess many of you feel that this croco-loco guy is out there is Corbett, having a lot of fun in an inflatable boat watching crocs. Well, guess most of you are right but only upto a certain extent. It has been fun and a wee bit tiring too. I know I have kept the suspense going long enough and most of the readers really want to know all about the Corbett Gharial.

The object of my distraction - A female gharial in Corbett

I spent a large part of February and March counting gharial and mugger in Corbett National Park. We used our trail cameras at Dhikala for a second year and got alot of real good time lapse photographs of gharial basking. We surveyed the shoreline right into Gaujeda where we did find a few shy gharial basking there too. I did spend a large part of April and May putting all the survey data into our project reports as water levels were high during the gharial nesting season causing me to alter my work plan a bit.

Gharial basking in Corbett National Park

I actually was not sure if gharial would nest but I headed back into Boksar in the end of June and stayed on till end August. Low and behold, these gharial in Corbett don’t seem to quit. They nested on sand deposits along mountain slopes and we recorded 200-250 hatchling in the area. That is about 600 hatchlings in two seasons.

Gharial hatchlings in Boksar in Corbett National Park

Well... surprise, surprise.... the adult population of gharial has increased  in the Corbett Tiger Reserve from 2008. While in 2008 we recorded, 42 adults (inclusive of 10 adult males) for the entire Reserve with 35 adults from the Corbett National Park, in 2014 we recorded a large increase in adult gharial in the National Park in six years. But I will have to keep the suspense going a little a longer as we compare trends over this period. Guess, it’s all happening in Corbett...!!!!

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