Kendrapara, Dec 3 (LocalWire): The population of many animals has marginally increased in the Bhitarkanika national park this year as per the recent mammal census report.
However, the park has recorded a drop in the total number of mammals this year as the number has decreased from 8,105 in 2019 to 7,904 this year, probably because of a drop in the numbers of wild boars and Rhesus macaques.
“The numbers of spotted deer increased by 10 this year while fishing cats were found to increase by 13.
While otters added 55 to their numbers this year, 9 more porcupines were counted,” said Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of the park Bikash Ranjan Dash.
The water bodies of Bhitarkanika are home to around 1700 salt-water crocodiles and the crocodiles are the only natural predator of spotted deer and wild boars in the park. Crocodiles do not have any significant impact on the population of deer and wild boars.
Spotted Deer are seen in herds of 10-30 containing two or three stags, but assemblage numbering several hundred is not uncommon in Bhitarkanika. The deer species is a prolific breeder,” added the forest officer.
Mammal census, especially that of spotted deer and wild boar is necessary, as many locals suffer crop loss due to these animals.
“However, the villagers rarely retaliate on rampaging animals as they know it is an offense under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 to attack or kill the animals,” added the officer.