Crocodile Census in India

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:30 AM

Background Context

  • Recent Crocodile Census by State of Odisha, India.

Current Findings of the Census

  • The state of Odisha has seen growth in the population of Estuarine Crocodile (i.e. saltwater crocodile), in near by water bodies, of Bhitarkanika National Park and 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 fresh water specie, found in lakes, river and marsh lands (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
  • Ghariyal/Gharial or Ghariyyaal is unique specie found in Indian subcontinent. With a pointy nose elongated pipe like mouth.jaw, they are know as fish eating specie. They are considers harmless to 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 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 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 these specie of Indian Crocodiles and technical expertise, guidance and support is provided by 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 center 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 -