Conservation and population recovery of gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) in Nepal

  • Published source details Acharya K.P., Khadka B.K., Jnawali S.R., Malla S., Bhattarai S., Wikramanayake E. & Kohl M. (2017) Conservation and population recovery of gharials (Gavialis gangeticus) in Nepal. Herpetologica, 73, 129-135.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Crocodilians

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Crocodilians

    A replicated study in 2004–2016 along four rivers in lowland Nepal (Acharya et al. 2017) found that in three of four rivers where head-started gharials Gavialis gangeticus had been released, more gharials were counted after eight years and there was evidence of breeding in the wild in all rivers. Results were not statistically tested. In three of four rivers where head-started gharials were released, more gharials were counted in 2016 (Narayani river: 84 individuals; Rapti river: 82 individuals; Babai river: 31 individuals; Karnali river: 1 individual) compared to eight years previously (in 2008, Narayani river: 34 individuals; Rapti river: 23 individuals; Babai river: 10 individuals; Karnali river: 6 individuals). Over the same time period, subadults were observed in all four rivers and hatchlings in three of four rivers (see original paper for details). In 1981–2016, eggs were collected from wild nests and gharials were hatched and head-started in captivity and released aged 4–7 years into the Narayani (~397 individuals), Rapti (~477 individuals), Karnali (~41 individuals) and Babai (~111 individuals) rivers. Gharials were surveyed by boat in November–March over several years between 2004–2016 in Narayani-Rapti rivers or 2008–2016 in Karnali-Babai rivers. Observed gharials were grouped into age classes.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust