Crocodile Conservation Project in India vs World Crocodile Day 2024

Crocodile Conservation Project in India vs World Crocodile Day 2024

( This article is related to the Environment & Ecology, Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation and Environmental Pollution ’ section of UPSC Civil Services Mains General Studies Paper – 3 and ‘ World Crocodile Day 2024, Crocodile Conservation Project in India, Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation’ section of UPSC Prelims Exam. It also includes suggestions from the PLUTUS IAS Team. This article is related to ‘ Crocodile Conservation Project in India vs World Crocodile Day 2024’ under ‘ Daily Current Affairs.)


Why in the News ?



  • World Crocodile Day, also known as World Crocodile Day, is celebrated all over the world on 17 June every year. 
  • The main objective of celebrating World Crocodile Day is a global campaign to raise public awareness about the endangered crocodiles and alligators around the world and highlight their plight.
  • According to the Annual Reptile Census 2023, a slight increase in the number of saltwater crocodiles has been recorded in the areas around Bhitarkanika National Park in India.
  • Kendrapara district of Odisha is the only district in India where all three major species of crocodile are found. 


What is the Crocodile Conservation Project ?



  • The Crocodile Conservation Project was initiated by the United Nations and the Government of India soon after the passage of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in India. 
  • Its main objectives are to protect natural habitats, boost crocodile numbers through captive breeding and address the low survival rates of newborns in the natural environment. 
  • Under this project, breeding centers have been established at 34 locations in India, with special attention to saltwater crocodiles or marine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus), such as Bhitarkanika National Park in India. 
  • This project is important for the conservation and rehabilitation of crocodiles because under it our responsibility towards the protection of wildlife and the conservation of crocodiles is being promoted.


Current number and distribution of crocodiles in India :

  • Crocodiles, which are considered to be an order of semi-aquatic reptiles/or a species of group of semi-aquatic reptiles, are currently becoming endangered around the world. There is a need for their conservation in India also. Following are some important facts related to this – 

Number of crocodiles in Bhitarkanika National Park :

  • The number of saltwater crocodiles in Bhitarkanika National Park was 95 in 1975.
  • According to the latest annual reptile census report (2023) in India, its number has now increased to 1,811.
  • Three major species of crocodile in India are Crocodile or Marsh Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) : These semi-aquatic reptiles are found in India.
  • Estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) : They are found or live in Indian salt water areas.
  • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) : These are also found in India.

Increasing human – crocodile conflict :

  • The increasing number of crocodiles has led to increased conflict between crocodiles and humans in Bhitarkanika National Park.
  • Since 2014, there have been 50 deaths, prompting authorities to erect barricades on 120 river banks to prevent attacks.
  • Despite all such protective measures, the conflict between humans and crocodiles continues and many measures are being adopted on the river banks for the protection of crocodiles.


Key facts about Bhitarkanika National Park :



Bhitarkanika National Park is an important and unique ecosystem. Following are some important points related to this ecosystem located in Orissa – 


Geography and Wildlife Habitat :

  • Bhitarkanika National Park is spread over an area of ​​672 km in Orissa. 
  • It is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India after the Sundarbans.
  • Its soil is rich in salts and is home to flora and species found in tropical and subtropical intertidal zones.
  • There is also a breeding ground for salt water crocodiles.


Gahirmatha Beach :

  • Bhitarkanika National Park Gahirmatha beach is on the eastern border.
  • The largest colony of Olive Ridley sea turtles is located here.


Wildlife species :

  • Bhitarkanika National Park It is also home to eight species of kingfisher birds, a rare species.
  • Bhitarkanika National Park has played an important role in Indian wildlife conservation.
  • This is important for protecting wildlife habitat and their reproduction.


Solutions / Way forward in conservation of endangered crocodiles and gharials under Crocodile Conservation Project in India : 


  • Crocodile conservation project in India was started in different states in 1975. 
  • Under this project the conservation program of gharial and salt water crocodile was implemented for the first time in Odisha. 
  • There is greater potential and need for cross-border cooperation in South Asia.
  • Wherever there is cross border movement of animals from one country to another or from one state to another, there should be exchange of information between each other.
  • Biodiversity conservation involves the conservation of various species and organisms essential to nature. 
  • The primary objectives of biodiversity conservation include preserving species diversity, ensuring the sustainable use of ecosystems, and promoting the sustainable use of individual species. 
  • Additionally, conservation of biological diversity plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of food chains and essential ecological richness. 


Source – Indian Express and PIB.


Download plutus ias current affairs eng med 20th June 2024


Practice Questions for Preliminary Exam : 


Q.1. Consider the following statements regarding crocodile conservation project in India.

  1. It is governed by the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 in India..
  2. The number of saltwater crocodiles in India was 95 in 1975.
  3. All three major species of crocodile are found in Kendrapara district in India. 
  4. The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is not found in India.

Which of the above statement /statements is/are  correct? 

A. Only 1, 2 and 3.

B. Only 2, 3 and 4. 

C. None of these.

D. All of the above. 

Answer – A


Practice Questions for Main Exam : 


Q.1. Underline the importance of crocodile conservation project in India and discuss the steps taken by the government for it. Evaluate the effectiveness of those measures in conserving India’s rich biodiversity and ecosystem. (UPSC-2019 Word Limit – 250 Marks – 15)


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