- 13 Jan 2020
- 2 min read
Why in News?
The population of Mugger Crocodile is on the rise in Odisha’s Ghodahada reservoir.
- As per the annual crocodile census conducted in the Ghodahada reservoir, the number of mature mugger crocodiles in Ghodahada reservoir and its adjoining area has increased.
- The reservoir is located close to the Lakhari Valley Sanctuary and is a part of the Eastern Ghats.
- The reservoir is fed by Ghodahada river which is a tributary of the Rushikulya.
Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)
- It is one of the three crocodile species found in Odisha, the others being gharial in Satkosia and Saltwater crocodile in Bhitarkanika.
- The mugger is an egg-laying and hole-nesting species.
- It is mainly restricted to the Indian subcontinent where it may be found in a number of freshwater habitat types including rivers, lakes and marshes.
- However, it can even be found in coastal saltwater lagoons and estuaries.
- It is already extinct in Bhutan and Myanmar.
- Principal threats: Habitat destruction, fragmentation, and transformation, fishing activities and use of crocodile parts for medicinal purposes.
- IUCN status: Vulnerable
- It is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Schedule I and part II of Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 provide the highest degrees of protection to listed species.
- It is also listed under CITES Appendix I.
Lakhari Valley Sanctuary
- It was established in the year 1985. It is marked by the tropical climate and receives a huge amount of rainfall every year due to its proximity to the Bay of Bengal.
- The sanctuary is full of rich tropical forest, valleys, hills, water sources etc.
- It is one of the elephant populated sanctuaries in India.