Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park Census: Increase in Salt Water Crocodiles

According to the recent census at the Bhitarkanika National Park, the population of salt water (or estuarine) crocodiles have increased to 1,757 as compared to 1,742 in 2018.


The peak winter is the ideal time to carry out the census as it exposes more than 50% of mud banks. Around 22 teams were formed to count the crocodiles in the creeks and rivers in the park and its surrounding area. The teams sited 620 hatchlings, 288 juveniles, 325 yearlings, 185 sub adults and 339 adults. The crocodile count in the park has been increasing gradually. According to the census, in 2000, there were 1,192 crocodiles in the park.

In August 2019, the Bhitarkanika National Park reported that 3,000 crocodiles were born from 103 nests. The chances of baby crocodiles reaching adulthood is very less. Only one in 500 baby crocodiles reach adulthood.

The IUCN status of salt water crocodile is Least Concern.

Bhitarkanika National Park

The Park obtained the status of Ramsar site in 2002. It was the second area to get the status after Chilika lake. The Park is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.

The Fauna of the park includes saltwater crocodile, black ibis, Indian Python, wild boar, cobra, darter, monitor lizard, etc. The park holds Guinness World Record of spotting largest male salt water crocodile in the world that weighed 2,000 kg in 2006.




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