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River Chambal, in northwestern India, is a tributary of the Gangetic River system.Â It flows through the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Uttar Pradesh (UP), and the National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary (NCGS) encompasses a 572km stretch of the river from Keshoraipatan in Rajasthan to Pachhnada in UP.Â The sanctuary includes about 15km of river Yamuna after confluence with Chambal.Â During annual monitoring of Gharial in Chambal the Indian Skimmer, Rhynchops albicollis numbers were also counted in 12 study zones for 17 observation years spread between 1984â€“85 and 2015â€“16.Â The number of skimmers was below 355 for 15 of the 17 observation years.Â Skimmer counts were higher in 1995 at 555 individuals.Â The count for different study zones is not uniform, but with reference to Rajghat at the crossing of National Highway number-3, the count upstream is lower than downstream with an exception in the year 2011.Â The river downstream appears to be a better skimmer habitat with better availability of fish, and long stretches of flowing water along low-lying sandy banks.Â The study calls for continued, coordinated and strengthened attention to NCGS for added conservation of locally migrating birds.Â The research and management connect in NCGS is a model where long term ecological monitoring has been possible because of simple and implementable protocols that were used unchanged over such a long period by a set of identified field personnel.Â
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