Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rajnagar (Kendrapara), July 8:
Wildlife Division officials have spotted 68 nesting sites of saltwater crocodiles inside the Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.
“Of the 68 crocodile nests, 61 have been spotted at Dangamala, Kalibhanjadia reserve forest and Mahisamunda area under the park limits, Rajnagar DFO Kedar Swain said.
He also informed that the forest staffs have collected 67 eggs from damaged nests adn those would be incubated at Dangamala Crocodile Breeding Centre.
He said a female crocodile lays eggs after attaining the age of 12.
Each female crocodile lays around 50-60 eggs and the hatchlings come out of the shell after 75 days, he informed.
Normally, the female crocodiles build nests at a distance of 30-40 feet from the river bank by preparing a 2-3 feet high mounds of kharkhari leaves. After laying eggs on the mound of leaves, the female crocodiles guards their eggs after covering them with dry leaves and sticks.
Eggs at a temperature of 28-30 degree produce female hatchlings while the male hatchlings are born at a temperature of 30-32 degree, the DFO said.
It may be mentioned here that the Forest department has closed the park from May 1 to July 31 this year for the nesting of saltwater crocodiles because the reptiles turn violent during the period.