Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapada, Nov 19:
The annual headcount of mammals inhabiting the mangrove cover and wetland sites of Bhitarkanika national park in Odisha’s Kendrapada district began today. The annual exercise is being conducted for the third successive year.
The forest officials have been deputed to carry out the census in Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary, Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and Rajnagar wildlife division during the three days.
Notably, there will be no restriction on the tourists to visit the park during the enumeration programme unlike during the counting of estuarine crocodiles and census of migratory avian species in the Park.
As per the last year’s census report, 3,125 deer, 1,394 wild boars, four sambar, 1,313 rhesus macaques, 19 common languors, 186 jackals, 28 fishing cats, 122 otters, 18 foxes and 12 hyenas, three porcupines, eight jungle cats, seven hares and three leopard cats were spotted in the Bhitarkanika National Park.
Bhitarkanika National Park spread over 672 sq km has been designated as a National Park since 1998. The Park is likely to get the World Heritage Site status as officials from UNESCO had recently visited the site.