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Threats to Mugger crocodile in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    14th Jul, 2021

The recent death of Mugger crocodile (Crocodyluspalustris) in Odisha has raised concerns regarding the threats to the species in Satkosia Gorge Sanctury.

Context

The recent death of Mugger crocodile (Crocodyluspalustris) in Odisha has raised concerns regarding the threats to the species in Satkosia Gorge Sanctury.

About

About the Mugger Crocodile

  • It is a medium-sized broad-snouted crocodile native to freshwater habitats.
  • The species feeds on insects, fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. 
  • Mugger crocodiles are covered under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Since 1982, the species has been marked ‘vulnerable’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. 
  • India is home to three primary species of crocodile:
    • Mugger or Marsh Crocodile (Crocodyluspalustris)is found in lakes and rivers throughout the country.
    • Saltwater crocodile (porosus) is found along the eastern coast of the country and the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.
    • Gharial (Gavialisgangeticus)is found in river areas.

Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary

  • Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary is spread over 795.52 square kilometers across four districts: Angul, Budh, Cuttack, and Nayagarh in Odisha.
  • Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary owes its name to the narrow stretch of River Mahanadi.
  • Mahanadi has cut across the Eastern Ghats and is known for Gharials, Mugger crocodile and rare fresh water turtles like Chitraindica and Trionyx.
  • The water bodies of Satkosia are home to around 108 muggers, according to the 2021 census.  

Plausible Threats to crocodiles

  • Choking by fishing nets
  • Blast fishing
  • Illegal trade
  • construction of dams, barrages, irrigation canals, siltation, changes in the river course, artificial embankments and sand-mining 

Blast fishing

  • Blast fishing, also known as dynamite fishing, is a highly destructive, illegal method of catching fish.
  • It uses dynamite or other types of explosives to send shockwaves through the water, stunning or killing fish which are then collected and sold.
  • It is one of the most destructive forms of fishing and indiscriminately kills any animal in the blast area from small fish to crocodiles and dolphins.
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