! DOCTYPE html>
Gharial Crocodile (Gavialis gangeticus) belongs to the Crocodylia Order and Crocodylidae Family. The reptile is native to Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Pakistan in the world. In Nepal, it has been recorded from rivers of Chitwan and Bardia districts as well as Koshi river. Present global Gharial population is estimated to be around 300-900 (IUCN,2020). According to Annual Report of DNPWC (2019) current population of Gharial is estimated to be 198 individuals in Nepal. The lifespan of gharial is 40 to 50 years. Its body colour is slightly black. Male gharials develop a hollow bulbous nasal protuberance at the tip of the snout upon reaching sexual maturity. This protuberance resembles an earthen pot known locally as "ghara". Male gharial is of 6 m to 8 m and female gharial is 4 m to 5 m long. The weight of the gharial is about 159 kg to 181 kg. The main characteristics of gharial is it eats only fresh fish. The incubation period is about 60 to 80 days. It is listed as a critically endangered species in the IUCN Red List category and Appendix I of CITES. The legal status of this species in Nepal is Protected (Appendix I) under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973. It is protected because of its heavy habitat loss, water pollution and poaching of eggs. It is traded in national and international markets due to its skin.