Saltwater crocodiles

News Excerpt:

According to an annual census conducted by forest officials, the Bhitarkanika region of Odisha is home to 1,811 saltwater crocodiles.

Current status of saltwater crocodiles

  • The population of saltwater or estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in and around Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park has marginally increased in 2024.
  • The crocodiles in the Bhitarkanika region are located in Kendrapara district. Last year, the crocodiles numbered 1,793.
  • Bhitarkanika is the second-largest mangrove forest in India after the Sundarbans in West Bengal. 
    • Both areas are among the three strongholds of saltwater crocodiles — the largest reptiles in the world — in India, the third being the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.


Bhitarkanika National Park

  • Spread in a vast area of 672 Kms Bhitarkanika Indian Wildlife Sanctuary Orissa is the 2nd largest Mangrove ecosystems of India.
  • It is the breeding place for the endangered salt water crocodiles which are the prime attractions of the sanctuary.
  • The Gahirmatha Beach which forms the boundary of the sanctuary in the east is the largest colony of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.
  • The sanctuary lies in the estuarial region of Brahmani-Baitrani with Bay of Bengal lying in the East.
  • The sanctuary has 215 species of birds in which the most important are the eight varieties of kingfisher and the migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia.
  • Apart from this the sanctuary is the home for many reptiles, mammals and vertebrates which includes the venomous Cobras and Indian Pythons, the endangered water monitor lizards, Chitals, Jungle cat, Wild Pigs, Otter, Rhesus Monkeys, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar and the Fishing Cat.

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