The aggressor crocodile’s population has increased by four in the Ghodahada Reservoir and its adjacent water bodies in the Ganjam district of Odisha, an official said on Wednesday.
Improving habitats in water bodies and protecting the animal by locals may be the main reasons for the increase over the past three years, said Amlan Nayak, forestry officer in Berhampur’s division ( DFO).
The number of aggressors in and around the irrigation reservoir was counted at 76 in the census, which was recently conducted by the Forestry Department through the direct sight method, Nayak said.
Fifty-eight attackers were found in the approximately 5 km² reservoir, while 18 others were detected in 10 nearby water bodies near Digapahandi, 190 km south of Bhubaneswar, the official said.
Last year, the reptile population was 72, with 53 in the Ghodahada Reservoir and 19 in the ponds. The number was 65 in 2020.
The Ghodahada Reservoir is considered one of the potential habitats for state aggressors after Satkosia and Similipal.
The assailant is one of three species of crocodiles found in the state. The others are the gharial and sea crocodiles.
It is designated as vulnerable in the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and under Schedule I of the country’s Wildlife Protection Act.
Forestry officials said they had not detected any dead aggressors in the area in the past two years, as they rescued the reptile from various areas nearby.
The fishermen in the area regard the sight of the abuser in the water bodies as a warning sign for them and, therefore, they do no harm.
Forestry officials are educating locals about coexistence, DFO said. “We also have a proposal to do an ecotourism project in the region.”
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)