World Crocodile Day 2024 – June 17

World Crocodile Day, also known as World Croc Day, is annually observed across the globe on June 17 to raise awareness and highlight the plight of endangered crocodiles and alligators around the world.

  • World Croc Day 2024 is organised by the Crocodile Research Coalition, a Belize-based nonprofit organisation, in conjunction with the Belize Zoo.
  • Land encroachment, Dredging, Pollution, Culling and invasion of other aggressive species can lead to huge extinction of these reptiles.

Crocodiles: 

i.Crocodiles are cold-blooded creatures, semi-aquatic reptiles that live throughout the tropics in Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.

ii.There are 26 species of crocodilian that have been identified and classified in the reptile order – Crocodilia.

Crocodiles in India:

i.India is home to three species of crocodiles

  • Mugger or Marsh Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)
  • Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
  • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)

ii.Saltwater Crocodile, Mugger Crocodile, and Gharial, are listed as Least Concern, Vulnerable, and Critically Endangered respectively on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

Crocodile Conservation in India:

i.Until the enactment of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Crocodilians were threatened in India due to indiscriminate killing for commercial purpose and severe habitat loss.

ii.The Crocodile Conservation Project was established in various states in India in 1975.

  • 2024 marks the 50th year of the Crocodile Conservaion Project.

iii.The Gharial and Saltwater crocodile conservation programme was first implemented in Odisha in 1975 and subsequently, the Mugger conservation programme was initiated.

iv.As a result of the programme, the estimated number of saltwater crocodiles in India increased from 96 in 1976 to 1,640 in 2012.

v.With the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Government of India (GoI) launched a crocodile breeding and conservation project.

v.In 1980, a Crocodile Breeding and Management Training Institute was founded in Hyderabad (Telangana).

Note: There are various crocodile conservation programmes in Odisha like ‘Baula Project’ at Dangamal for salt water crocodile; ‘Mugger Project’ at Ramatirtha for Mugger crocodiles and Gharial Project at Tikarpada for Gharials.

Crocodile Census in India 2024:

i.The Annual Crocodile Estimation exercise was conducted by 22 teams in 51 segments in Odisha in the Bhitarkanika National Park and Sanctuary, Gahirmatha Sanctuary, Mahanadi Deltaic areas from 10 to 12 January 2024.

ii.According to an annual census, 1,811 salt-water crocodiles were counted along the water-bodies of Bhitarkanika river system and Mahanadi Deltaic region. In 2023, the crocodiles numbered at 1,793.

iii.During the census, Hatchlings: 582 (two feet in length); Yearlings: 387 (2-3 feet); Juveniles: 327 (3-6 feet); Sub-adults: 167(6-8 feet long); Adults: 348 (more than 8 feet long) were counted.





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