Pakistan Museum of Natural History

     
     

THE GAVIAL OR GHARIAL DISPLAY

Introduction
The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), also known as the gavial, belongs to the family Gavialidae. This species is native to the northern part of Indus River in Pakistan. It has dark or light olive like dark cross-bands and speckling on the head, body and tail. Its extremely long, thin jaws, are an adaptation to catch fish. Males reach up to 6m in size with an average weight of around 160kg.
From conservation point of view, it is listed on “CITES Appendix I” which means it is illegal to carry out its trade and has been declared as “Critically Endangered” specie by the IUCN. The gavial has almost become extinct from Pakistan largely due to growing and uncontrolled anthropogenic pressures including depletion of fish resources. Little research has been conducted on its adaptation, migration and other key aspects.