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Crocodile population on the rise in Odisha’s Ghodahada reservoir

A crocodile basking in the sun on the banks of Ghodahada reservoir in Odisha.

A crocodile basking in the sun on the banks of Ghodahada reservoir in Odisha.  

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Twenty-one mugger crocodiles live in ten village ponds adjoining Ghodahada reservoir of Odisha’s Ganjam district that houses 44 of these reptiles.

This example of peaceful coexistence of humans and crocodiles in the Digapahandi forest range under Berhampur forest division was revealed during annual crocodile census conducted in the region on Saturday. “As per the census, the number of mature crocodiles in Ghodahada reservoir and its adjoining area has increased from 58 in January 2019 to 65 in 2020. In 2019, there were 43 muggers in the reservoir, while 15 were living in the nearby village ponds,” said Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer Amlan Nayak.

The number of mature crocodiles is increasing in the region. In 2018, their number was 45. Digapahandi Forest Range Officer Pramod Kumar Khadagray said that highest number of five crocodiles were in the Ujaleswar temple tank at Khambarigaon village on the banks of the reservoir. The other nine village ponds around the reservoir housed 10 muggers.

As per the locals and forest officials, in the British era, the area zamindar had kept some crocodiles in the Ujaleswar temple tank.

The crocodiles of the Ghodahada reservoir and its adjoining village ponds have never harmed any villagers or domestic animals. According to zoologists, muggers are less ferocious than other crocodile breeds and they seem to be satisfied with fish in the reservoir and its adjoining ponds. Villagers are fishermen and involved in pisciculture in the reservoir and conservation of crocodiles.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 12:58:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/crocodile-population-on-the-rise-in-odishas-ghodahada-reservoir/article30552838.ece

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