State

Bhitarkanika to be closed for crocodile census from Jan 8 to 17

Bhubaneswar,November 16: In view of annual census of the salt water crocodiles, the forest authorities have decided to impose a 10-day ban on entry of tourists into Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district.

The ban would be imposed between January 8 and 17. The decision has been taken to prevent noise pollution during the counting of the reptiles.

The head count drive of the endangered estuarine crocodiles would be conducted under the supervision of wildlife personnel.

Sources said the enumerators assisted by trained local forest staff and some herpetologists, including noted crocodile researcher Dr Sudhakar Kar of State Wildlife Department would cover Bhitarkanika river system besides innumerable creeks, water inlets and nullahs.

The census of crocodiles and birds is conducted during this period which requires a quiet atmosphere. The presence of large number of visitors as well as plying of motor boats will disturb the operation.

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