Saltwater or estuarine crocodiles in India have seen a marginal population increase, with 1,811 individuals counted in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park during the annual census of January 2024. This census is crucial for monitoring the species’ conservation status. The crocodiles inhabit mangrove forests, brackish waters, and freshwater rivers, primarily in Odisha, West Bengal, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The census involves direct sighting by teams from the Forest Department and wildlife experts. While the population increase is a positive sign of species recovery and conservation success, challenges like human-crocodile conflicts and habitat destruction persist. Going forward, enhanced conservation efforts and effective management of human-crocodile interactions are crucial.
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