Gul Mohar English Class 8 Chapter - 9 Saving the Gharials

Gul Mohar Edition 9 Orient Blackswan

Gul Mohar English Chapter - 9 Saving the Gharials

Writer of the story - Janaki Lenin
Question and Answers
Question 1: What were Whitaker and his team going to do with the eggs? Why?
Answer:
Whitaker and his team were going to take the gharial’s egg to breed the young and rear them safely in captivity and release them in protected areas when they were old enough to feed for themselves. This was to keep the young gharial safe from predators like jackals, mongooses, hyenas and also from human interference so that their survival could be ensured because their dwindling numbers have become a cause of concern for preservers of biodiversity. 

Question 2: Was their work part of a larger project? What project? What made it necessary?
Answer:
Whitaker and his team's work was indeed part of a larger project for “Project Crocodile”.  It was launched in 1974 by the Indian government with the UN’s help. The project was initiated in order to counter the rapid decline of the gharial and related species in the Indian subcontinent.

Question 3: Did Whitaker and his team succeed in breeding a large number of gharials in captivity? Was their project a success or failure? What made it so?
Answer:
Whitaker and his team succeed in breeding a large number of gharials in captivity. But their project received a set back because out of thousands of young gharials released in protected areas, only few survived for long. Threats of human interference in the form of bamboo-rafting and net-fishing affected the project adversely with the snouts of gharials being shut tight because of the fishing nets which eventually starved them to death. Changes in natural environment for example the river eroding the sandbanks (egg-laying site) and uprooting the trees and so on had flushed the gharials out of the protected area and sometimes into the sea. 

Question 4: Is Whitaker optimistic at the end of the text? What makes him feel that way?
Answer:
Whitaker is optimistic at the end of the text because he feels that the gharial is not in as much danger as it had been before. Though he acknowledged that their 30 year strategy of captive breeding had not done enough and the species still faced an uncertain future, yet he was hopeful because he thought that people seemed to be at last ready to do what it took to save the gharial. A healthy gharial population indicates a healthy river and people have finally waking up to the need for preserving biodiversity and river ecosystems.


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