Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kendrapara, Dec 7:

Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district will remain closed for visitors from January 2 to 8 for annual census of estuarine crocodiles.


Forest department officials said teams will be deployed for counting of crocodiles for which movement of boats and entry of tourists have been prohibited for a week.

Counting of crocodiles will be undertaken in Rajnagar, Dangmal, Gahirmatha and Mahakalpada ranges. The head count drive of the endangered estuarine crocodiles would be conducted under the supervision of wildlife personnel.

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.

It is worthwhile to mention that forest officials in January this year had counted 1, 671 salt water crocodiles in the national park as compared to 1,665 during the corresponding time last year.

Similarly, head counting of migratory birds will be undertaken in the national park from January 12. Enumeration is undertaken in Mathabadia, Kalibhanjia, Bagagahan, Satbhaya, Gahirmatha areas etc.

Besides, counting of dolphins would be conducted at Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha area adjoining the Bay of Bengal from January 20, Forest Department AFG Pradosh Kumar Patnaik informed.