World Crocodile Day is observed on June 17 every year to spread awareness about the conservation of endangered crocodiles and alligators around the world.
- The Crocodiles and alligators are celebrated during the day and it would encourage people to get involved in helping them.
- World Crocodile Day 2023 was organized by the Crocodile Research Coalition in conjunction with the Belize Zoo.
- Crocodiles are reptiles from the order Crocodilia that have short legs, powerful tails, long snouts, and bony-plated backs.
- Crocodiles are large semi-aquatic reptiles found in the tropics of Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Australia.
- Crocodilian Species in India include Mugger (or) Marsh Crocodile, Estuarine (or) Saltwater Crocodile and Gharial Crocodile.
i.The Crocodile Conservation Project was established in various states in India in 1975.
ii.The Gharial and Saltwater Crocodile Conservation Program was launched in Odisha in early 1975, followed by the Mugger Conservation Program.
iii.As a result of the programme, the estimated number of saltwater crocodiles in India increased from 96 in 1976 to 1,640 in 2012.
Hatching of 125 gharials in the Gandak River basin:
i.On June 17, 2023, The Wildlife Trust of India announced the hatching of 125 gharials in the Gandak River basin.
ii.Since 2013-14, the Wildlife Trust of India, in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of Bihar, has been conserving the critically endangered gharials in the Gandak River.
iii.The Gandak River (one of the tributaries of the Ganges) is home to the second-largest population of these fish-eating reptiles in the world.