The Census to find out the number of crocodiles in rivers and other water bodies in Vadodara district of Gujarat began on Saturday, a Forest department official said.
A total of eleven teams of Forest personnel in collaboration with members of various NGOs started the exercise which will cover a stretch of 17 kms of the Vishwamitri river from the Vaododara-Ahmedabad expressway to Talsat village in Makarpura.
Rage Forest Officer (RFO) Nidhi Dave told PTI that the last Census of crocodiles was conducted in the year 2015.
"The exercise was launched in the backdrop of many crocodiles being found in the Vishwamitri river, and ponds and lakes in the city after floods in October last year," the RFO said.
As per earlier data, the Vishwamitri river, which flows through the middle of the city, has become the home to more than 370 crocodiles.
A Forest official has attributed the rise in the number of crocodiles in the river due to easy availability of waste food being dumped in the water by some restaurants and abattoirs.
"Moreover, eggs of crocodiles are not get eaten due to absence of predators in urban areas," he said.
Apart from the river, the five-day exercise will cover 12 lakes in Padra, 15 lakes in Karjan and the Dhadar river, ten lakes in Dabhoi, seven lakes in Savli, and the Narmada river in Shinor, the RFO said.
Sources in Forest department said that water bodies in Padra and Karjan are home to more than 150 crocodiles.
The highest concentration of crocodiles is found near the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada river in Kevadiya in Narmada district.
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