Saturday, July 22, 2023

Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary

Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India. It was established as part of "Project Crocodile" to conserve and promote the population growth of the critically endangered Gharials. The sanctuary encompasses a stretch of the Son River, as well as parts of the Banas and Gopad Rivers.


The sanctuary is home to a significant population of Gharials, along with other fauna such as Indian flapshell turtles, smooth-coated otters, Indian Skimmers, and various fish species. It is also an important breeding ground for the Indian Skimmer.


Table of Contents

  • Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions


Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Sidhi District of Madhya Pradesh, India. The sanctuary encompasses a total length of 210 km, including stretches of three rivers: 161 km of Son river, 23 km of Banas river, and 26 km of Gopad River.


Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

Bamrauli Airport (Allahabad) in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, is the closest airport to the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, located approximately 157 kilometers away. Travelers can use this airport as a point of entry if they plan to visit the sanctuary.


Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

  • Marwasgram in Majhauli, Sidhi is the nearest railway station to the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, situated at a distance of approximately 40 kilometers.
  • Rewa is another railway station near the sanctuary, approximately 87 kilometers away.
  • Satna is also relatively close, situated at a distance of about 142 kilometers from the sanctuary.




Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary has a significant history related to wildlife conservation efforts, particularly focused on the protection and preservation of the critically endangered Gharials.


The sanctuary was established in 1981 as part of the "Project Crocodile," an initiative by the Indian government to conserve and promote the population growth of crocodilian species, especially the Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus). Gharials are a unique and critically endangered species of crocodilians known for their long, thin snouts, and they are native to the Indian subcontinent.


The main purpose of the sanctuary's establishment was to create a safe and conducive environment for the Gharials to breed and thrive. These critically endangered crocodilians were facing numerous threats to their survival, including habitat loss, pollution, illegal fishing, and accidental entanglement in fishing nets.


By designating the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, authorities aimed to protect the sandy riverbanks, which serve as crucial nesting sites for Gharials. The sanctuary also supports other species of flora and fauna, making it an essential part of the region's biodiversity.


Over the years, conservation efforts in the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary have included habitat management, anti-poaching measures, public awareness campaigns, and scientific research to monitor and protect the Gharial population. These efforts have contributed to the conservation of this critically endangered species and have helped raise awareness about the importance of preserving the unique riverine ecosystems in the region.


As a result of the sanctuary's conservation initiatives, the Gharial population has shown some signs of recovery, although they still face numerous challenges in their struggle for survival. The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary remains an important area for wildlife conservation and research in India, providing a vital refuge for the Gharials and other species that depend on this unique river ecosystem for their survival.




Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses a total length of 210 kilometers, which includes stretches of three rivers: 161 kilometers of the Son River, 23 kilometers of the Banas River, and 26 kilometers of the Gopad River.


It's important to note that the length of the sanctuary does not directly correspond to its total area, as the width of the sanctuary's coverage along the rivers may vary. The sanctuary's area would depend on the width of the riverbanks and the extent of land adjacent to the rivers that are included within its boundaries.




Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary is primarily centered around the Son River, which is the main river after which the sanctuary is named. The sanctuary encompasses a significant length of the Son River, as well as parts of two other rivers, the Banas River and the Gopad River.


(1) Son River:

The Son River is a major river in central India and is one of the longest tributaries of the Ganges River. It flows through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar, ultimately joining the Ganges River in the state of Bihar. The Son River is an important lifeline for the region, and its riverbanks provide essential habitats for various wildlife species, including the critically endangered Gharials.


(2) Banas River:

The Banas River is a tributary of the Son River and is part of the sanctuary's boundary. It originates in the state of Madhya Pradesh and flows through parts of the Sidhi District, contributing to the overall riverine ecosystem and biodiversity of the sanctuary.


(3) Gopad River:

The Gopad River is another tributary of the Son River and also flows through the sanctuary's boundaries. It adds to the ecological diversity and provides additional habitats for wildlife within the sanctuary.


These rivers and their associated riverine habitats are crucial for the survival and breeding of the Gharials and other species found in the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary. The conservation efforts in this sanctuary focus on protecting the unique river ecosystem and the wildlife that depends on it for their sustenance.




Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

Riverine ecosystems, such as the one in the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary, typically support a variety of plant species that are adapted to the wet and semi-aquatic environments. Some common types of flora found in such ecosystems include:


(1) Riparian Trees:

Trees that grow along the riverbanks, such as Sal (Shorea robusta), Mahua (Madhuca longifolia), Banyan (Ficus benghalensis), and Peepal (Ficus religiosa). These trees help stabilize the riverbanks and provide habitat and food sources for various wildlife.


(2) Aquatic Plants:

Various aquatic plants thrive in the shallow and slow-moving waters of the rivers and their associated water bodies. Examples include Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), Water Lily (Nymphaea species), and various types of submerged and floating plants.


(3) Grasses and Reed Beds:

Riverine areas often have patches of grasslands and reed beds, which are essential for nesting, shelter, and foraging for many bird species and other wildlife.


(4) Wetland Vegetation:

Wetlands adjacent to the rivers support vegetation such as reeds, rushes, sedges, and other plants that are adapted to waterlogged conditions.




Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse fauna, which includes a variety of wildlife species that inhabit the riverine ecosystem. The sanctuary was established primarily to protect and conserve the critically endangered Gharials (Gavialis gangeticus), but it also supports a range of other species that depend on the river and its surrounding habitat. 


Here are some of the notable fauna found in the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary:


Mammals:

  • Smooth-coated Otter
  • Indian Flying Fox
  • Common Indian Langur
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Indian Wild Boar
  • Indian Grey Mongoose
  • Indian Porcupine


Birds:

  • Indian Skimmer
  • Sarus Crane
  • Indian Cormorant
  • Great Egret
  • Black-headed Ibis
  • White-throated Kingfisher
  • Pallas's Fish Eagle


Reptiles:

  • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)
  • Marsh Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)
  • Indian Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia gangetica)
  • Russell's Viper
  • Common Krait
  • Indian Rock Python
  • Monitor Lizard




Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is the Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. The Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Sidhi District of Madhya Pradesh, India. The sanctuary is centered around the Son River and encompasses stretches of the Banas River and the Gopad River as well.

Son Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary

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