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ODISHA: ONLY STATE IN INDIA TO HAVE ALL 3 SPECIES OF CROCODILES

ODISHA: ONLY STATE IN INDIA TO HAVE ALL 3 SPECIES OF CROCODILES

Context:

Odisha has become the only state in India to have all the 3 species of crocodiles.

About:

  • Those three species are:
  1. Muggers in Bhitarkanika National Park
  2. Reptile freshwater Gharials at Satkosia in Mahanadi
  3. Saltwater crocodiles.
  • Odisha has seen the natural nesting of Gharials for the f1st time since they were introduced in its rivers in 1975.

Gharial:

  • Gharials, also known as gavial or fish-eating crocodiles, are crocodiles of the family Gavialidae.
  • They are among the longest of all living crocodilians.
  • They have been listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List since 2007.
  • The journey for conservation of Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) started in 1975 at Gharial Research and Conservation Unit (GRACU), Tikarpada, and adjoining Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary along the Mahanadi river in Odisha.

Background - Gharials in Odisha:

  • Original Gharials which were introduced in Odisha are dead now.
  • After 45 years of wait, Odisha is now seeing the 1st natural nesting of gharials.
  • Almost 28 hatchlings were seen in the Satkosia range of the Mahanadi river in May 2021.

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