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World Crocodile Day 2022

Context: June 17th is observed as World Crocodile Day every year. 

 

World Crocodile Day aims to highlight the plight of endangered crocodiles and alligators worldwide. The global day has been observed since 2017 and was started by the Crocodile Research Coalition in collaboration with Belize Zoo. June 17th is observed as World Crocodile Day every year. 

Crocodiles are large semiaquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia. There are 23 known crocodile species, of which 7 are currently listed as Critically Endangered, 4 as Vulnerable, and 12 as Least Risk as per the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 

Crocodilian Species Found in India: 

Mugger: They are restricted to the Indian subcontinent and generally found in freshwater habitats (lakes, marshes, rivers, etc.). Habitat destruction, fragmentation and transformation, fishing activities and the use of crocodile parts for medicinal purposes are the causes of their vulnerable status. This species of crocodile are already extinct in Myanmar and Bhutan. 

Saltwater Crocodile (estuarine crocodile): They are also known as a maneater; the saltwater crocodiles are believed to be the largest crocodile species living on Earth. They are found in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, the Sundarbans in West Bengal and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands. They can also be found across Southeast Asia and northern Australia.

Its reputation as a maneater is one of the biggest reasons for its hunting and a threat to its existence. It is also hunted for its skin, and another major cause of its decorating population is habitat loss. IUCN status is Least Concern. 

Gharial: They are the longest of all living crocodilians. The Chambal river in the northern slopes of the Vindhya mountains is the primary habitat of gharials. The gharial population is estimated to have declined from 5,000–10,000 individuals in 1946 to fewer than 250 individuals in 2006. IUCN status is Critically Endangered. 

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