1. The Gharial 

The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is the most uniquely evolved crocodilian in the world, a specialized river-dwelling fish-eater.

The dire condition of the gharial reflects the tragedy of our rivers where we stand to not only lose other endangered taxa such as the Ganges river dolphin (Platanista gangetica) but also the use of their waters for human consumption and other needs.

CONSERVATION STATUS: Critically Endangered

HABITAT: Clean rivers with sand banks.

DISTRIBUTION: Only viable population in the National Chambal Sanctuary, spread across three States of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in India. Small non-breeding populations exist in Son, Gandak, Hoogly and Ghagra rivers. Now extinct in Myanmar, Pakistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

THREATS: The combined effects of dams, barrages, artificial embankments, change in river course,
pollution, sand-mining, riparian agriculture and ingress of domestic and feral livestock caused
irreversible loss of riverine habitat and consequently of the gharial.

ALSO READ: The Pygmy hog