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January 19 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha stands as a testament to India’s rich biodiversity, known particularly for its diverse ecosystem and remarkable wildlife. In the recent annual census of 2024, the park celebrated a noteworthy increase in the population of saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), underlining its significance in conservation efforts.

Key Points Related to Saltwater Crocodiles:

About Saltwater Crocodiles:

  • Largest of All: Saltwater crocodiles are the largest among all crocodilians and hold the title of the world’s largest reptile.
  • Sexual Dimorphism: Female saltwater crocodiles are relatively smaller, reaching a maximum length of 2.5 to 3 meters, compared to their larger male counterparts.
  • Salinity Tolerance: They are adaptable to salinity and are predominantly found in coastal waters, rivers, and freshwater areas near swamps.


  • Diverse Sounds: Saltwater crocodiles employ various sounds for communication, including barking, hissing, growling, and chirps, enhancing their ability to interact.

Distribution and Habitat:

  • Geographical Range: Their habitat spans tropical to warm temperate latitudes, covering the eastern Indian and western Pacific oceans.
  • Preferred Environments: Mangrove forests and other coastal habitats serve as their primary dwellings, showcasing their adaptability.

Dietary Habits:

  • Varied Diet: Juveniles consume small insects, amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, and small fish, while adults prey on a broader spectrum—crabs, turtles, snakes, birds, buffalo, wild boar, and monkeys.
  • Hunting Techniques: Employing stealth, saltwater crocodiles submerge, exposing only their eyes and nose. They swiftly lunge at prey, often securing a kill with a single snap before submerging for consumption.

Conservation Status:

  • IUCN Red List: Categorized as “Least Concern,” indicating a stable population.
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Listed under Schedule I, highlighting the need for stringent protection.
  • CITES: Included in Appendix I/II, emphasizing international cooperation for conservation efforts.

Key Facts about Bhitarkanika National Park:

Ecosystem and Waterways:

  • Unique Network: Bhitarkanika NP is a labyrinth of creeks and canals, nourished by rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, and Patasala, forming an exceptional ecosystem.
  • Coastal Boundaries: The eastern boundary is marked by the Gahirmatha Beach, hosting the largest colony of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, contributing to marine biodiversity conservation.

Bagagahana or Heronry:

  • Aerial Spectacle: An extraordinary phenomenon, the Bagagahana or heronry near Surajpore creek witnesses thousands of birds converging for nesting. The aerial displays during mating season are a mesmerizing spectacle.

Avian Diversity:

  • Kingfisher Haven: Bhitarkanika is home to eight distinct varieties of Kingfisher birds, a rare occurrence, showcasing the park’s significance as a haven for avian biodiversity.


Bhitarkanika National Park emerges not only as a sanctuary for saltwater crocodiles but also as a crucial ecosystem supporting a myriad of flora and fauna. The successful conservation efforts and the surge in the saltwater crocodile population underscore the park’s vital role in preserving India’s rich natural heritage.


January 19
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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