Forest officials locate 52 crocodile nests in Bhitarkanika

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Kendrapada, Jun 28 (UNI) As many as 52 nests of estuarine crocodiles were spotted in the creeks, nullahs and rivulets of Bhitarkanika National Park during the ongoing nesting season of the salt water reptile this year.

Divisional Forest Officer of Rajnagar Mangrove Forest Division P K Behera said each nest reported about 50-60 eggs.

The forest officials have also spotted estuarine crocodiles nests at Rajnagar and Mahakalpada water bodies.

The authority has imposed a ban on tourists and visitors from May 15 to July 31 to ensure that the breeding and nesting process was not affected.

The visitors will remain at a risk during the period as crocs tend to become violent during the nesting period.

As per the census carried out in January 2008, there were 1498 salt water crocodiles--1421 inside the sanctuary and 77 outside the sanctuary area inside the Bhitarkanika river system.

Out of the 1498 salt water crocodiles-538 were hatchlings, 342 yearlings, 227 juveniles, 139 sub-adult crocodiles and 252 adult crocodiles, Mr Behera said.

UNI XC-DP KK AB 1951

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