Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhitarkanika National Park will remain shut for the visitors for nine days starting Friday in view of the census of the saltwater crocodiles and birds.

As per reports, the National Park will be closed from January 5-13 for the purpose. Tourists will be barred from entering the park to prevent noise pollution for the smooth conduct of the census drive.

The counting will be done under the observation of the DFO of Rajnagar Mangrove and Wildlife Division Sudarshan Gopinath Yadav.

“The census will be conducted in five ranges by teams comprising of Forest Department staff and experts. Counting of crocodiles and birds will also cover rivers and canals in Mahakalapada, Rajnagar, Gahirmatha and Kania,” said Yadav.

As per the report in January 2022, there were 1784 crocodiles present in Bhitarkanika. In 2023, 1793 crocodiles were spotted at the national park.

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Notably, Bhitarkanika National Park is a large national park in northeast Kendrapara district in eastern India. The national park is home to saltwater crocodile, Indian python, king cobra, darters and many other species of rich flora and fauna. It also hosts many mangrove species and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.