Rajnagar: The Bhitarkanika National Park in Kendrapara district will remain closed for tourists from December 26 to January 4 for the annual census of Baula crocodiles and migratory birds, divisional forest officer of Rajnagar (DFO) Bikash Ranjan Dash said.
“Tourists are advised not to plan their visits to the park during this period,” he added.
The headcount of the crocodiles will be carried out under the supervision of wildlife personnel, crocodile researchers and experts.
According to DFO Dash, “Every year we carry out the census of estuarine crocodiles and migratory birds between December and January. This year too, tourists will be barred from entering the national park between December 26 and January 4 to prevent noise pollution during the headcount of the reptiles as sound pollution following human activity distracts the wildlife and poses hindrances to carry out a census drive.”
Asked why the park is closed during a peak time when the visitors’ footfall is high, Dash said, “The census date is generally fixed on the recommendation of experts.”