Corbett to count its crocodiles, gharials, otters

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) All set to take a glimpse of its marine and sub-marine animal life, the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) will count crocodiles, gharials and otters residing in the park after almost a decade.

The census would be carried out in three days beginning from Saturday, February 25, officials said.

According to the last census held in 2008, the tiger reserve, that is spread in 1,288 square km area, has a total of 253 ghariyals, 95 crocodiles and 189 otters.

“There is a uniform distribution of these marine and semi-aquatic animals throughout the tiger reserve. Maximum of these animals are spotted in Sona and Ramganga river, several water pools and spots like crocodile and champion point,” Parag Madhukar Dhakate, CTR Director and Conservator (Western Circle) Uttarkahand told IANS.

Dhakate, who conducted the survey in 2008 as the then Deputy Director of the park, said the exercise would also involve nature guides, volunteers, students and local people.

“It’s very important to know the numbers as they speak of the conservation status and help us improve our strategies,” Dhakate said.

The CTR has two sub-species of otters — Smooth-coated and Eurasian otters — which are listed as Vulnerable and Near Threatened in the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list.

The ghariyal is listed as Critically Endangered and crocodile as Vulnerable.

–IANS

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