Monsoon, Umbrellas and Gharials: what can conservation of the world's weirdest crocodile teach us about saving rivers?

12 Apr 2022 18:00 - 19:30

Gharial are fascinating animals. Related to crocodiles, they have seriously long, thin snouts, on the end of which males have a bulbous growth used for communicating via ‘pops’. They care for their babies in huge communal creches. Sadly, they are Critically Endangered. Despite being unusual creatures, the story of why gharial are at risk of extinction is all too familiar. Freshwater environments are the most threatened on earth: freshwater species populations have declined a catastrophic 83% since the 1970s. But it’s not just wildlife – people depend on having clean, functioning, healthy rivers and freshwaters for health, happiness, cultural heritage and livelihoods. Freshwater conservation is especially vital in the Himalayas, the ‘water tower of Asia’, where rivers that influence the lives of 40% of the world’s population originate. However, many of these rivers are becoming some of the most polluted rivers in the world. How do we turn this around, for people and wildlife?  
We will share with you the weird and wonderful lives of gharial in Nepal, and through an exploration of the history and present of their conservation, we will discuss threats to freshwater ecosystems in South Asia, and how community conservation could lead to solutions in the future. 

Science and Conservation Event Details:

  • This interactive online event will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel found here: We will share a direct link to the livestream in due course. Please Subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive a notification before the event begins.

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  • The event will run from 6:00pm - 7:30pm and will be available to watch on our YouTube channel afterwards.
  • Each event will comprise of short presentations from experts in the topic, followed by interactive Q&A and panel sessions. Viewers will be encouraged to join the event live and ask questions using an online platform.
  • There is no charge for this event, and no need to register in advance.


ZSL Wild Science Podcast

We will be creating a fascinating podcast episode on the topic of this event, so keep an ear out! Listen to previous episodes of our award winning ZSL Wild Science podcast here. Don't forget to rate and review to help boost us in the charts, and subscribe on your podcast app so you don't miss any future episodes!


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