Mugger Crocodile (Crocodilus palustris): A Fascinating Amphibious Predator

  • Common Name: Mugger Crocodile
  • Scientific Name: Crocodilus palustris
  • Nepali Name: Gohi (गोही)
  • Size: 4-5 meters (length)

Introduction: The Mugger Crocodile, scientifically known as Crocodilus palustris, is a captivating creature found in the aquatic landscapes of Nepal. Known locally as “Gohi” (गोही), these reptiles are also recognized as Marsh Crocodiles.

Mugger Crocodile in Bardia National Park

Habitat and Behavior: Mugger crocodiles are small-limbed amphibious animals with a penchant for spending extended periods in the water. However, they are frequently observed coming to the shore for basking. This behavior is not only vital for thermoregulation but also provides excellent opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to witness these impressive creatures in their natural environment.

Feeding Habits: As carnivorous predators, Mugger crocodiles have a diverse diet, feeding on both dead and live aquatic animals. Their adaptability is highlighted by the ability to remain active for up to a week without the need for food. This resilience is a testament to their evolutionary strategies for survival in varying environmental conditions.

Conservation Significance: The Mugger Crocodile plays a significant role in the ecological balance of its habitat. As a species of concern, conservation efforts are crucial to ensuring the preservation of their natural environments and the protection of their populations. The delicate ecosystems they inhabit are indicative of the broader conservation challenges faced by wildlife in Nepal.

Cultural Connection: In Nepali culture, Mugger crocodiles hold a unique place, with the local name “Gohi” reflecting the relationship between these creatures and the communities residing in proximity to their habitats. Understanding and respecting this cultural connection is integral to fostering coexistence between humans and wildlife.

Conclusion: Encountering the Mugger Crocodile is a privilege that offers insight into the intricate balance of nature. As stewards of the environment, it is our responsibility to appreciate, protect, and actively contribute to the conservation of these remarkable creatures. The Mugger Crocodile’s presence is a testament to the rich biodiversity that defines Nepal’s natural heritage.

Mugger Crocodile seen on the bank of Karnali River at Bardia National Park, Nepal

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