The steady increase in sightings of salt water crocodile nests in the swampy creeks of the Bhitarkanika National Park on the Odisha coast for three consecutive seasons has elated ecologists, who have hailed this achievement as the outcome of long-term conservation efforts.The wildlife wing of the State Forest Department has come across 80 crocodile nests in their wild habitats in 2017 in Bhitarkanika, compared with 75 in 2016 and 70 in 2015.“We have spotted 80 nests in the wild. But the number of crocodile nests could be more as we could not trace all of them due to inaccessibility. Of the 80 nests, 70 are in the Kanika range. For the first time, we discovered three crocodile nests in the Gahirmatha range,” Bimal Prasanna Acharya, divisional forest officer of the Rajnagar Forest Division told The Hindu on Tuesday.Bhitarkanika is said to house 70% of India’s estuarine or salt water crocodiles, conservation of which was started over four decades ago in 1975.Back then, when the Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme focussed on saving crocodiles in Bhitarkanika, there were hardly three or four nests sighted in the area and the population of salt water crocodiles was estimated to be 95, including 34 adults. Now, the numbers have grown to 1,682.Long-term effortSince 1977, salt water crocodile eggs have been collected and young crocodiles have been released in the creeks and the estuaries of Bhitarkanika. A decade ago, this practice was discontinued, allowing crocodiles to grow in their natural habitats.“More than 3,000 crocodiles have so far been released into the waters of the Bhitarkanika. We have been able to reverse the trend of a declining crocodile population and make the area a safer habitat for the reptile,” said Sudhakar Kar, a former scientist with the Odisha Forest Department and an expert on crocodiles with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.The Bhitarkanika National Park is a place where the rivers Brahmani, Baitarni, Dhamra and Pathsala meet the Bay of Bengal. The mangrove wetland and a large number muddy creeks provide perfect conditions for estuarine crocodiles to nest. Moreover, the nesting sites of crocodiles are located at places where tidal waves cannot wash away the eggs.“Unlike other crocodiles, estuarine crocodiles lay eggs by creating a mound made of leaves of a particular mangrove species, which are plentifully available in Bhitarkanika. Other crocodile species dig the soil for laying eggs,” said Dr. Kar.Crocodiles start laying eggs by mid-May, with an incubation period of 75 days. The female crocodile guards the nest devotedly for three months. During this period, she tends to attack anything that approaches the nest. Hatchlings come out in the month of August. An average of 25-30 eggs are found in a nest and 30% of hatchlings may finally survive.Dr. Kar said there are large habitats for salt water crocodiles in the Sundarbans in West Bengal, and in the large mangrove wetlands of the Andaman Islands, but they cannot match the density and population of crocodiles in the wild habitats of Bhitarkanika.The national park is also home to the only white-coloured captive crocodile named Gori. Many albino crocodile species can be found in the Bhitarkanika’s waters. The park also houses the world’s largest salt water crocodile, measuring about 23 feet — this was recorded in 2006 in the Guinness World Records.Dr. Kar said, “Salt water crocodiles devour predatory fishes. Hence, more fish thrive with the presence of crocodiles in the water.” He added, “The existence of salt water crocodiles depends on dense wet mangrove forests and the steady discharge of fresh water into the sea. Odisha has the distinction of having all three Indian species of crocodiles. ”
The Higher Education Department in Odisha has decided that a special committee would probe the allegations regarding errors and irregularities in the results of second semester examination of Plus III degree courses of Berhampur University even as the students continue their agitation over the issue.On Thursday, students from five colleges of Berhampur and its outskirts demonstrated in front of the administrative block of Berhampur University demanding immediate rectification of their results.Meeting with officialsSpeaking to media persons, Vice-Chancellor Rajendra Prasad Das said a delegation of the university had been called to Bhubaneswar by the State Higher Education Minister for discussion in the matter. The delegation included the V-C, Registrar, PG Council Chairman and Controller of Examinations. Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik, Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahy and senior officials of the department attended the meeting.Four-member panel After reviewing the allegations brought up by the students, the Higher Education Department decided to get the issue probed by a special four-member committee, said the V-C.The committee will visit Berhampur University on August 4 for an on-the-spot enquiry. The committee will file its report to the Ministry by August 10. Based on the report, the department will direct the university authorities regarding future action related to the matter.
Adamson gets 2nd wins, trumps NCAA champ Arellano Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Yu scored 14 points, hitting 5-of-8 from the field, grabbed eight rebounds and had two steals in just 15 minutes off the bench.“I don’t know what he ate today but he just played so well,” said NU coach Jamike Jarin.He unleashed eight points in the third quarter, where the Bulldogs broke the game wide open with a 17-3 run after a 42-deadlock.“I could say all my hard work paid off but it’s still not enough. It’s only the start of the season and I have a lot more to show,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:36Archers, Eagles favorites to win UAAP Season 8000:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president “It’s really a great feeling because I worked so hard for this for three years,” the National University guard told INQUIRER.net.READ: NU opens UAAP Season 80 bid with rout of UE FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutYu was shelved in his first three years in the league due to limited playing time and a slew of major injuries, including an ACL tear in Season 78.He made up for lost time as he reintroduced himself at the start of Season 80 against University of the East. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDave Yu waited years to finally get a shot to show what he’s capable of.His moment came on Saturday and he relished every minute of it.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Read Next View comments
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Prayagraj: Former Union Minister and BJP leader Chinmayanand, who was arrested on Friday on charges of intimidation and sexual harassment of a law student, is now facing more trouble from his peers. The Akhil Bhartiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the highest decision making body of saints, is all set to extern Chinmayanand from the community. ABAP president, Mahant Narendra Giri, said after a meeting of the council on Saturday that it had been decided to extern Chinmayanand from the saint community. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “A formal meeting of the Akhilesh Bhartiya Akhara Parishad will be held in Haridwar on October 10 and this decision will get the seal of approval from the general body,” he said. Mahant Narendra Giri further said, “Chinmayanand has accepted his misdeeds and there could be nothing more shameful for the saint community. He will be externed until the day he is exonerated from the court.” Chinmayanand is presently the Mahamandaleshwar of the Maha Nirvani Akhara. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen The 73-year-old religious-cum-politician leader will now lose this position too, if he gets thrown out of the saint community and will not be able to prefix ‘Sant’ or ‘Swami’ to his name. Chinmayanand has also been a key player in the Ayodhya movement. He participated in the Ram temple movement and was a frequent visitor to Ayodhya. Chinmayanand, along with Mahant Avaidyanath (guru of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath), formed the ‘Ram Mandir Mukti Yagya Samiti’ . Other saints like Ramvilas Vedanti and Ramchandra Paramhans also joined the movement afterwards. He also became the convener of the Ram Janambhoomi Andoloan Sangharsh Samiti on January 19, 1986. Chinmayanand was arrested from his Mumukshu Ashram in Shahjahanpur on Friday and sent to 14-day judicial custody after a month-long drama that began with a video posted on the social media by the alleged victim about sexual harassment by him. In 2011, Chinmayanand was also accused of rape by an inmate of his ashram, who claimed that he had sexually exploited her on several occasions. She lodged an FIR in this connection but no action was taken against Chinmayanand, mainly because of the political clout he enjoys.