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Cyclone Yaas destroys crocodile nests in Bhitarkanika National Park

Kendrapara, July 22 (UNI): The Severe Cyclonic storm Yaas that hit Odisha coast on May 26 has cast its shadow on the nesting process of estuarine crocodiles in Bhitarkanika National Park.

DFO of Rajnagar mangrove forest and wildlife division Dr. Janga Datta Pati said only a few estuarine crocodile nests were spotted this time in comparison to last year within the park. He said this year only 84 nests were spotted by the enumerators in four wildlife and forest ranges against 103 spotted last year.

The forest personnel have spotted as many as 70 nests of crocodiles in Kanika forest and wildlife range, whereas 10 nests were noticed under Rajnagar forest and wildlife range and two each at Mahakalpara range and Gahirmatha forest and wildlife range.

Generally, the Estuarine crocodile used to form nests on the same spot or nearby areas where they earlier laid eggs by forming nests as the reptile was acquainted with the place.

But this time, the forest personnel failed to trace the nests of crocodiles in the areas where the reptile had laid eggs. This was a clear indication that the nests might have been destroyed or tidal water washed the nests and eggs in the Yaas.

The forest personnel have collected nearly 54 estuarine crocodile eggs from a vulnerable crocodile nest to hatch it artificially at the hatchery set up inside the Dangamal-based crocodile breeding and rearing centre, the DFO said.

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