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Example of peaceful coexistence of humans and crocodiles in the Digapahandi forest range under Berhampur forest division was revealed during annual crocodile census conducted.
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As per the census, the number of mature crocodiles in Ghodahada reservoir and its adjoining area has increased from 58 in January 2019 to 65 in 2020.
There are three species of crocodilians— Saltwater, Mugger and Gharial.
- The mugger crocodile, also called the Indian crocodile, or marsh crocodile, is found throughout the Indian subcontinent.
- It is listed as vulnerable by IUCN.
- The mugger is mainly a freshwater species, and found in lakes, rivers and marshes.
- The Gharial or fish eating crocodile is native to the Indian subcontinent.
- Gharial is listed as a Critically Endangered by IUCN.
- Small released populations are present and increasing in the rivers of the National Chambal Sanctuary, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Son River Sanctuary and the rainforest biome of Mahanadi in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Orissa.
- Saltwater Crocodile is the largest of all living reptiles.
- It is listed as least concern by IUCN.
- This species is found throughout the east coast of India. Crocodile conservation programmes in India: The Gharial and Saltwater crocodile conservation programme was first implemented in Odisha in early 1975 and subsequently the Mugger conservation programme was initiated, since Odisha is having distinction for existence of all the three species of Indian crocodilians. The funds and technical support for the project came from UNDP/ FAO through the Government of India.