22 June 2021.
Odisha has become the only state in India to have all the three species of crocodiles.
- Three species in the state of Odisha are:
- Reptile freshwater Gharials at Satkosia in Mahanadi,
- Saltwater crocodiles.
- Odisha has witnessed natural nesting of Gharials (a critically endangered species) for the first time since they were introduced in its rivers in 1975.
- About 28 hatchlings of Gharials were spotted in Mahanadi River in Baladamara area near Satkosia range.
- Muggers are found in Bhitarkanika National Park.
Gharials in Odisha
- Original Gharials which were introduced in Odisha are dead now.
- After waiting for 40 years for their numbers to grow naturally, Odisha introduced 13 more Gharials in past three years in the Mahanadi.
- But only eight survived.
- Gharials, also known as gavial or fish-eating crocodile, are crocodilian of family Gavialidae.
- They are among longest of all living crocodilians.
- They have been named gharial because of a distinct boss at the end of snout, which resembles an earthenware pot called ghara.
- Gharials are well adapted to catching fish because of its long, thin snout and 110 sharp & interlocking teeth.
- They have been listed as critically endangered in IUCN Red List since 2007.