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Odishatv Bureau

Kendrapara: The Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district reopened for tourists on Thursday. The park was closed from January 3 in view of the conduct of annual census of estuarine crocodiles and head count of migratory birds.

Rajnagar Divisional Forest Officer Bimal Prasanna Acharya said," Compared to previous year, the headcount of both estuarine crocodiles as well as birds has increased as per the census conducted at Mahakalapada, Kanila, Gahiramatha and Patasala and Bhitarakanika areas in Rajnagar range."

For the crocodile census conducted from January 3, 20 teams were constituted and the area was divided into 54 segments. As per reports, the number of estuarine crocodiles has gone up by 16, from 1682  last year to 1698 this year.

Similarly, the head count of migratory birds was conducted on January 9 for which 26 teams were formed along with 38 experts, comprising wildlife personnel and researchers.

As per sources, 1,12,973 birds were found in the park compared to 76,268 birds last year, which is almost 36,705 birds more. This apart, two new bird species were traced during the census.

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