Ban on tourists to Bhitarkanika for croc count

A six-day ban on entry of tourists to Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district has been imposed from January 2 in view of the annual salt water crocodile census. A mid-winter status survey of migratory birds will also be conducted on January 12.

Published: 08th December 2016 03:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th December 2016 05:04 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KENDRAPARA: A six-day ban on entry of tourists to Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district has been imposed from January 2 in view of the annual salt water crocodile census. A mid-winter status survey of migratory birds will also be conducted on January 12.


Restriction on entry of visitors will be carried out to prevent noise pollution during the counting of reptiles and birds in the park.

“As more than 50 per cent of mud bank is exposed during peak winter and lunar cycle is also favourable, we decided to count the crocodiles from January 2 to 8,” said Divisional  Forest Officer (DFO) of Bhitarkanika, Bimal Prasan Acharya on Wednesday. 


 The head count drive of the endangered estuarine crocodiles would be conducted under the supervision of wildlife personnel, including Sudhakar Kar, noted crocodile researcher of State Wildlife department.  The survey would cover Bhitarkanika river system besides innumerable creeks, water inlets and nullahs.  The forest officials last year had counted 1,671 salt water crocodiles including 597 hatchlings, 342 yearlings, 269 juveniles, 164 sub-adults and 299 adult crocodiles.


Ten years back, the Guinness Book on World Record had recorded a 23-foot long salt-water crocodile in Bhitarkanika as the world’s largest.


 Meanwhile, thousands of migratory birds have started arriving in the mangrove forest and water bodies of Bhitarkanika as part of their annual winter sojourn. The bird count will be done on January 12, Acharya added.

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