Kendrapara: Around 103 nests of saltwater crocodiles have been spotted in the mangrove forest of Bhitarkanika National Park, Bikash Ranjan Das, Rajnagar DFO, informed.
Bikash Ranjan Das, Rajnagar DFO, said, enumeration exercise for saltwater crocodile nests under Rajnagar Forest Division has concluded. Around 103 nesting sites with 50-60 eggs in each of them were sighted by forest officials, the DFO said.
The DFO further stated 103 crocodile nests including 90 in Kanika, 9 in Rajnagar and 1 each in Gahirmatha & Mahakalpada range were spotted.
Entry of tourists into the park has been restricted from May 1 to July 31 as it is the mating and breeding season of crocodiles. “The female reptiles guard the eggs from predators like jackals, wild dogs, fishing cats, vultures, water monitors, wild boars and other animals.
The crocodiles also cover their eggs with leaves to prevent ingress of rainwater into the nests during monsoon,” said the DFO. In 1975, the Ministry of Forest and Environment in collaboration with UNDP had started a crocodile breeding and rearing project in Dangamala within the park.