World Crocodile Day

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World Crocodile Day

  • World Crocodile Day is celebrated on June 17.
  • It is a global awareness campaign to highlight the plight of endangered crocodiles and alligators around the world.
  • Crocodiles find mention in news frequently due to conflicts with humans which results in loss of life or limb.
  • However experts say that culling cannot be an option to reduce human-crocodile conflict.


  • India is home to three crocodilian species-
  • The mugger or marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) -
    • It is also called Indian crocodile.
    • It is found throughout the Indian subcontinent. it is listed as vulnerable by IUCN.
    • The mugger is mainly a freshwater species found in lakes, rivers and marshes.
  • The estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porous) -
    • It is largest of all living reptiles.
    • It is listed as least concern by IUCN.
    • It is found throughout the east coast of India.
    • It is infamous globally as man-eater.
  • The Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) -
    • The Gharial or fish eating crocodile is native to Indian subcontinent
    • It is listed as critically endangered by IUCN
    • Only small released populations are present and increasing in the rivers of National Chambal Sanctuary, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Son river sanctuary and the rainforest biome of Mahanadi in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Odisha.
    • The Gharial is known to be relatively harmless, fish eating species.
  • According to experts there are four human-crocodile conflict hotspots in India
    • Vadodara in Gujarat
    • Kota in Rajasthan
    • Bhitarkanika in Odisha
    • Andaman and Nicobar island
  • According to experts, instead of culling manpower, modern technology and funds need to be used top geo tag animals and monitor their movement.
  • This way their entry into human habitations can be known.
  • Crocodile Conservation programmes that are being run in India are-
  • The Gharial and Saltwater crocodile Conservation Programme-
    • It was first implemented in Odisha in 1975.
    • Later the Mugger conservation programme was started due to existence of distinct three species of Indian crocodiles in Odisha.
    • The funds and technical support came from UNDP/FAO through the Government of India.
  • Baula Project at Dangamal- Baula is Oriya term for saltwater crocodile. Dangamal is in Bhitarkanika sanctuary.
  • Mugger project at Ramatirtha- the Ramatirtha center in Odisha is meant for mugger crocodile.
  • Gharial Project at Tikarpada, Odisha
  • Captive breeding of crocodiles at Nandankanan, Odisha.

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