Crocodile Census in India

Crocodile Census in India - Background Context

  • Recent Crocodile Census by the State of Odisha, India.

Crocodile Census in India


Current Findings of the Census

  • The state of Odisha has seen growth in the population of Estuarine Crocodile (i.e. saltwater crocodile), in nearby water bodies, of Bhitarkanika National Park and the surrounding area of Kendrapara district.
  • The number recorded was 1742 crocodiles in current years in pursuance for updating the Annual reptile census.
  • The Govt. measures deployed in the region gave positive results in the context of “Crocodile Census”

Type of Crocodile found in the Region.

  1. Saltwater Crocodile: Indian Saltwater Crocodile is Largest of all the Living Reptiles found in India. According to IUCN, it is listed as Least Concern. These are found uniformly throughout India along the east coast region.
  2. Mugger: This particular type is freshwater specie, found in lakes, river and marshlands (marsh crocodile) found uniformly throughout the Indian subcontinent. The IUCN listed this type as Vulnerable which is a bit of concern, and conservation program need to be undertaken ASAP.
  3. Gharial: Gharial/Gharial or Ghariyyaal is unique specie found in the Indian subcontinent. With a pointy nose elongated pipe-like mouth-jaw, they are known as fish-eating specie. They are considered harmless to the human being. They are considered very native to Indian subcontinent. Unfortunately, their numbers are not doing so good, and according to IUCN, they are listed as Critically Endangered. There are efforts taken to increase their population in the region and numbers taking shape in rivers of the National Sanctuary of Chambal, Son River Sanctuary, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary. They are also found in the rainforest of Mahanadi river particularly in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, State of Odisha.

Crocodile conservation programmes in India

  • The Crocodile Conservation Programme was first deployed in the state of Odisha in the year 1975. In the initial phase, the conservation programme was launched for Gharial and Saltwater and eventually, the conservation program for Muggar was also launched. The financial assistance for the conservation of this specie of Indian Crocodiles and technical expertise, guidance and support is provided by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP)/FAO channel through the Government of India.

Project/Scheme and Initiatives for Crocodile Conservation in India

  1. "Baula" at DANGAMAL: The term “BAULA” is an Oriya word, used to identify Saltwater Crocodile. The place DANGAMAL is located in Bhitarkanika Sanctuary.
  2. Project Mugger at RAMATIRTHA
The Ramatirtha Center of Mayurbhanj, located in state of Odisha is a mythological tourist place and rearing centre for crocodiles (Mugger) which comes under, Govt of Odisha Tourism. The other efforts are Project Gharial at Tikarpada, Crocodile breeding, at Nandankanan.

Important Links (External)

  1. Crocodile Census Charotar - Time of India.
  2. Bhitarkanika now has more estuarine crocodiles - DownToEarth.org

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