Mugger Crocodiles

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According to a recent study, anthropogenic threats like illegal fishing and sand mining pose a threat to the mugger crocodiles (Crocodylus plaustris) of the Rapti River flowing along the Chitwan National Park.

About Mugger Crocodiles:

  • The mugger or marsh crocodile is one of the 24 extant species of crocodilians found globally.
  • It is native to freshwater and inhabits marshes, lakes, rivers and artificial ponds.
  • The mugger is found in 15 Indian states, with the largest populations in the middle Ganges (Bihar-Jharkhand) and Chambal (Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan) basins.
  • They are found all over south Asia — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh — as well as south-eastern Iran.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
    • CITES Appendix I 


Key facts about the Rapti River

  • The Rapti originates in the Mahabharat Hills and lower range of the Himalayas and flows westward along the northern border of the Chitwan National Park.
  • It drains the Rapti zone in Mid-Western Region in Nepal and then the Awadh and Purvanchal regions of Uttar Pradesh state in India.
  • It joins the river Ghaghara which is a major left-bank tributary of the Ganga.


Q1) What are Gharials?

Gharials are one of the biggest crocodilians and have the narrowest snout of these different species. Their common name is due to the bulbous nasal snout of adult males, which looks like an Indian pot with the name 'ghara'.

Source: Muggers of Rapti: Anthropogenic threats pose risk to saurians in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, says study