Local conservation Org. captures a rare baby Crocodile in Sanghar, later releasing it at a safe place
The agricultural fields of Sanghar and the Chotiari Range have long been known to possess the rare Marsh Crocodiles in the remote Wetlands of the region and these reptiles, although now listed as Endangered by IUCN, are often spotted by the local populace during the wee hours of the day.
Ventures of such a baby crocodile were cut short when it decided to explore its neighbourhood on December, 6th Thursday, when the locals captured and relocated the baby crocodile. The Crocodile was spotted when the local residents of the area were forced to find the reason behind horrendous barking of the dogs that were kept at a distance by the juvenile hissing of the baby Crocodile.
Members of the Makhi Development Organization (MDO), a group that aims to protect the environment, were alerted and they promptly informed the World Wide Fund for Nature Pakistan (WWF) office at Chotiari Wetlands Complex.
MDO’s president, Khalid Ali Leghari, said, “We believe the little animal might had strayed off too far in a canal and lost its way when trying to get back to where it came from.”
Sanghar District, in the southern province of Sindh, possesses some of the rare species of animals and plants owing primarily to the rich wetlands adjoining the Nara Canal. Many of these species include the Marsh Crocodiles, Smooth-coated Otter, Migratory Birds etc found in the area of Chotiari Reservoir and Chotiari Lake close to the Tharparkar region.
The WWF experts inspected the animal and found it in good health. The dearth of extensive documentation and statistics has made it difficult to formulate a strategy for the conservation but the raw analysis depict that the specie inhabits a large area of Nara Canal and Nara Desert downstream of Sukkur Barrage.
The Wetlands possess a variety of Flora and Fauna and needs extensive Statistical research to have the first-hand information of the inhabiting species. WWF is probably the only organisation which has done substantial research in examining the population of Crocodiles, the Smooth Coated Otters, Vultures, Indus Dolphins and many other species of birds and other animals.
Umair Shahid, WWF’s natural resource management officer, said, “It is phenomenal how these amazing creatures migrate from the Nara Canal to the adjoining sand dunes in search of freshwater lakes, which are found in the complex desert system.”
He added the crocodiles are often found in the lakes, where they breed. “For instance, around 12 juvenile crocodiles were spotted in January this year in Nagiopir Lake.”
According to rough estimates, there are around 600 Marsh Crocodiles inhabiting the Nara Wetland Complex and Chotiari Wetland Complex in Sindh as well as the Hingol River in Baluchistan. 150 of these animals are living in captivity.
The breeding season of the Crocs start in the dry months of December to February and a female lays around 25-48 eggs. The temperature of the nest usually defines the sex of the embryos within the eggs which is one of the unique features of these animals.