Annual Breeding Season for Estuarine Crocodiles in Orissa

An Estuarine crocodile guarding its nest in Bhitarkanika
Bivash Pandav
Female crocs lay around 50 to 60 eggs and the hatchlings usually emerge from the nest after an incubation period of 70 to 80 days

The annual breeding season of Orissa’s estuarine crocodiles has picked up pace. Forest officials have identified 28 nesting sites within the Bhitarkanika National Park in coastal Orissa. The nesting season will extend for another two months. Human interference during this time is causing the reptiles to react violently. Though prohibition has been enforced, settlers near the park often intrude into the dangerous waters. Two human deaths have been reported so far due to crocodile attacks. The victims are usually people who were fishing or collecting crab. Estuarine crocodiles are not found in any river system. Their numbers currently stand at around 1654.

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