World Crocodile Day

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News: World Crocodile Day is being celebrated on the 17th June.

Facts:

Crocodile species found in India:

Mugger or Marsh Crocodile: 

  • Habitat: It is a freshwater crocodile native to southern Iran to the Indian subcontinent.It is extinct in Bhutan and Myanmar.
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Threats: a) Habitat destruction b) Entanglement and drowning in fishing equipment and c) Increasing incidents of conflict with humans.

Estuarine or Saltwater Crocodile:

  • It is considered as the Earth’s largest living crocodile species native to saltwater habitats and brackish wetlands.
  • Habitat: It is found throughout the east coast of India, Southeast Asia and northern Australia.
  • IUCN Status: Least Concern
  • Threats: a) Illegal hunting b) habitat loss and c) antipathy toward the species because of its reputation as a man-eater.

Gharial:

  • Distribution: It was once found across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan.However,currently it survives in several severely fragmented populations in India and Nepal.
  • Protected areas: National Chambal Sanctuary and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered 
  • Wild Life (Protection) Act,1972: Schedule I 
  • CITES: Appendix I 
  • Threats: Construction of Dam, barrages, and water abstraction, entanglement in fishing nets, River bed cultivation and sand mining.