Odisha’s Kendrapara now India’s only district to have all 3 species of crocodilians

Source: This post is based on the article “Odisha’s Kendrapara now India’s only district to have all 3 species of crocodilians“ published in Down to Earth on 31st August 2021.

What is the News?

Odisha’s Kendrapara became the only district in India to be home to all three species of crocodilians found in the country.

  1. The crocodilian family consists of 27 different species that are subdivided into three families: True crocodiles, alligators and caimans and gharials.

Which are those three crocodiles found in Odisha’s Kendrapara District?

  1. Gharials (IUCN Status: Critically Endangered)
  2. Mugger crocodile 
  3. Saltwater crocodile 
About Mugger Crocodile:
  1. Mugger Crocodile is also called marsh crocodile or broad-snouted crocodile. It is an egg-laying and hole-nesting species.
  2. It is native to freshwater habitats from southern Iran and Pakistan to the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. 
  3. IUCN Status: Vulnerable 
  4. Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule 1
  5. CITES: Appendix I.
  6. Threats: a) Habitat destruction, b) Entanglement and drowning in fishing equipment, and c) Increasing incidents of conflict with humans.

About Saltwater Crocodile:

  1. It is considered the Earth’s largest living crocodile species native to saltwater habitats and brackish wetlands.
  2. Habitat: It is found throughout the east coast of India, Southeast Asia and northern Australia.
  3. Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha houses 70% of India’s estuarine crocodiles or saltwater crocodiles.
  4. IUCN Status: Least Concern
  5. Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule 1
  6. Threats: a) Illegal hunting b) habitat loss and c) antipathy toward the species because of its reputation as a man-eater


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