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Annual census of estuarine crocodiles begin in Bhitarkanika

Press Trust of India  |  Kendrapara (Odisha) 

The annual census of estuarine or saltwater crocodiles got underway at Bhitarkanika National Park in district Thursday following which the area has been been kept out of bounds for tourists, officials said.

Forest officials, experts and researchers, will carry out the census till January 14, the officials said.

The objective is to keep the place free from human interference during the headcount and so the park has been closed for visitors, a said.

Apart from the system, water inlets, creeks and nullas within the national park, the headcount of crocodiles is also being carried out in the areas along the deltaic region of Mahanadi river, the forest official said.

The upstream of Brahmani, Baitarani and Kharasrota have been identified as habitation corridor of estuarine crocodiles, the (DFO) of Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya, said.

The enumerators will also cover these areas during the census, Acharya said.

During the last census in January 2018, the forest officials had listed 1,698 crocodiles, the DFO said.

The count was 1,682 the year before, the DFO added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 14:45 IST