Bhubaneswar, Dec 05 (LocalWire) With crocodile annual headcount exercise of estuarine crocodiles getting underway, Bhitarkanika national park would remain out of bounds for nature’s lovers who long for savouring the warmth of congenial wetland spots.
The national park is being closed for ten days (December 26 to January 4) for the annual census of the estuarine crocodiles.
The national park’s closure during the period will ensure the smooth and human interference-free census operation. Any form of human activity would come in the way of meticulous census of these reptiles. That’s why the curb on tourists’ footfall has been imposed, said the Divisional Forest Officer, Bhitarkanika Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bikash Ranjan Dash.
Bhitarkanika is said to house 70% of India’s estuarine crocodile or saltwater crocodiles, conservation of which was started way back in 1975.
The number of salt water crocodiles, the species which are not found in any other river system in Odisha, as per the latest census, in Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary stood is estimated to be 1742 as per the latest census.
Adequate conservation measures by the state forest department have led to a systematic rise in the number of these reptiles over the years, claimed officials.