Kendrapada:29/6/18: With record number of nesting sites of endangered estuarine crocodiles sighted in Bhitarkanika, the national park has re-established itself as the largest habitat of these animals.
A record number of 101 nesting sites of estuarine crocodiles were spotted this time enumerators. Last year 80 sites had been spotted. The nesting spots have registered 25% rise this year, which is exceedingly a positive development, Divisionnal Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bimal Prasanna Acharya said.
Female crocodiles lay 50 to 60 eggs and the hatchlings usually emerge from the nests after 70 to 80 days of incubation period
1698 crocodiles including albino species were counted this year along the water-bodies of Mahanadi deltaic region while the census figure recorded last year stood at 1682.
Estuarine crocodiles are also found in West Bengal’s Sundarbans, having country’s largest mangrove cover. Besides the mangrove wetlands in Andaman Islands are home to these species, but those cannot match density and population of crocodile available in wild habitats of Bhitarkanika.