Bhopal: After emerging as the state with the highest number of tigers and leopards in India, Madhya Pradesh is now close to acquire the top position in conservation of Gharials or fish-eating crocodiles, and vultures, a government official said on Monday. Citing the bird census of 2019, the official said 8,397 vultures were found in MP which is more than other states in the country. "As per the report of the Wild Life Trust of India, a maximum number of 1,859 Gharials were found in the Chambal sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh," the PR department official said.

He said the gharials were on the verge of extinction around 40 years ago. "Four decades ago, only 200 gharials were left in the world and among them 96 were in India, including 46 in Chambal river," the official said.

A gharial sanctuary was established in Morena district's Devri area for their conservation, he said. "Eggs of Gharials are safely hatched in sand in a temperature ranging between 30-36 degree Celsius. As per the bird census of 2019, 8,397 vultures were found in MP which is more than other states in the country."In Bhopal's Kervan Dam area, a Vulture Conservation and Breeding Center was established, which is jointly run by the Bombay Natural History Society and the MP government," the official informed. He said in terms of vulture population also, MP would emerge as the top state. As per the 2018 tiger census, MP is home to the highest number of tigers in the country at 526 and is given the "tiger state" tag, the official said. Similarly, MP also has the highest number of leopards in the country at 3,421, as per the Status of Leopards in India 2018 report. "At least 25% of total 12,852 leopards in India are found in MP alone," the official added.

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