KHANDAPARA: Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district will be closed for visitors from January 8 for the annual census of salt water crocodiles and migratory birds.
Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Bhitarkanika Bimal Prasanna Acharya said, the restriction will be in place for nine days to prevent noise pollution during counting.
The head count drive of the endangered estuarine crocodiles would be conducted under the supervision of wildlife personnel.
The enumerators, assisted by local trained forest staff and some herpetologists, including noted crocodile researcher Dr Sudhakar Kar of State Wildlife Department, would cover Bhitarkanika river system besides creeks, water inlets and nullahs, said the forest officer.
The forest officials last year counted 1,665 salt water crocodiles in the national park.
A rise in the crocodile population has been noticed after a breeding and rearing project in Dangamala was opened within the national park by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in collaboration with UNDP, the forest officer added.