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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 7, 2007
Jackals on alligator rampage in U.Ps Chambal sanctuary
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Jackals on alligator rampage in U.Ps Chambal sanctuary

Officials at the National Chambal Sanctuary near Agra are at their wits end trying to prevent the menace caused by a group of jackals that have become a threat to Indian alligators here.

By Brajesh Kumar

Etawah (Uttar Pradesh), May 7 : Officials at the National Chambal Sanctuary near Agra are at their wits end trying to prevent the menace caused by a group of jackals that have become a threat to Indian alligators here.

These jackals are destroying the amphibians' nests, where the alligators lay their eggs.

The problem is worrisome due to the fact that the National Chambal Sanctuary has been to protect the Indian alligator, commonly known as the "Ghariyal".

Though officials deny any shortfall in the alligator population at the sanctuary, they admit that the jackals are a menace."We cannot say that their number is less. Though nesting is taking place in large numbers and we have identified some, but jackals disturb these nests. If we can provide some protection to the nests from jackals, it will help in increasing the alligators' number here," said Omprakash Vaghel, a forest guard at the National Chambal Sanctuary.

Earlier, alligators and crocodiles' eggs had to be taken to the Kukrail Reserve Forest for hatching. Now, officials contend that they do not need to shift the eggs.

"Natural nesting is taking place here. There has been some problem in Kukrail but we are not dependent on Kukrail since nesting is taking its natural course here," said R. N. Katiyar, an official of the National Chambal Sanctuary.

The nesting period begins in March.

In 1978-79, the River Chambal was declared a Gharial sanctuary under the Crocodile Project. The objective was to provide a protected habitat for Gharials and allied aquatic animals.

The National Chambal Sanctuary overlaps three States - Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh with the borders skirting each other.

The National Chambal Sanctuary is famous for the rare Gangetic dolphin. The sanctuary was founded in 1979 and is part of a large area co-administered by Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Apart from the Gangetic dolphin, the other inhabitants of the sanctuary include crocodile and Gharial (alligator), Chinkara, Sambar, Nilgai, wolf and wild boar.

ANI

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