Mugger count decreases in Ghodahada reservoir in Ganjam

Berhampur: The total number of Muggers, an endangered crocodile species in Ghodahada irrigation reservoir in Ganjam district, has decreased, forest department sources said today.

As per a census of the Mugger in the five-sq-km reservoir conducted by Berhampur forest division recently, its number has been estimated at 42 as compared to 46 counted last year, the sources said.

“Some of them might have migrated towards downstream due to the overflowing of the reservoir during the floods in October last year. It might be one of the causes for the lower population count in the reservoir,” Divisional Forest Officer (Berhampur) S S Mishra said.

While one such crocodile was rescued from a pond at Dharakote after cyclone Phailin and flood in the district, another found dead nearby, he said.

Ghodahada reservoir is considered as one of the major habitats for the Muggers in the state, others being Similipal, Satakosia, Ramtirth and Baisipalli, he said.

“We are now preparing a wetland management plan for Ghodahada with an aim to protect the Mugger,” the DFO said.