The Girwa River in India supports a rich variety of fauna including the endangered Ganges River Dolphin and critical endangered gharial. Due to rising conservation concerns, biologists in the country have conducted a great deal of research over the past few decades on the status of these species in its distribution range. However, in the Girwa River such studies are still lacking, both to inform conservation efforts and to help address broader concerns related to biodiversity conservation. In light of the above statement, the present study was conducted in the ca.18 km of the Girwa River in Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh. During the survey, dolphins, crocodile and aquatic birds were encountered along most of the river with the exception of ca. 1.5 km section below the international border and a ca. 2 km section above the Girijapuri barrage. Based on the best estimate, Low-best-high figures of 27-35-41 dolphins, with an encounter rate of 1.94 dolphins/km were estimated. Besides dolphin, 65 gharial, 20 mugger crocodile and 64 species of aquatic birds were counted. Actual growth may be higher because of possible population under estimation during the present survey. Increasing anthropogenic activities such as dam and barrage, coupled with mortality in fishing nets, are likely to affect the future survival of these populations. Recommendations for management and research are made to ensure the effective conservation of these species in the Girwa River.
Part of the book: Biological Resources of Water