Population of muggers, an endangered crocodile species, has recorded a fall of 8.7% in comparison to last year in the Ghodahada irrigation lake, said sources in the Forest department.
A census of the endangered species of the croc family in the five square km Ghodahada reservoir conducted by the Brahmapur forest division recently found 42 muggers in the lake compared to 46 last year, Forest department sources said.
Divisional Forest Officer (Brahmapur) SS Mishra is of the opinion that some of the muggers might have migrated downstream as the lake overflowed during the floods in October last year. It might be one of the reasons for the slight fall in the population of the muggers in the reservoir, he added.
The DFO said while one mugger was rescued from a pond near the tehsil office in Dharakote after Phailin, another was found dead nearby.
Mishra said the department was preparing a wetland management plan for Ghodahada reservoir to protect the muggers.
Ghodahada reservoir is considered one of the major habitats for the muggers in the state, the others being Similipal, Satakosia, Ramtirth and Baisipalli, sources said.