Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) sightings in water bodies of Bundelkhand Region, India
Akhilesh Kumar, Sonika Kushwaha, Abhishek Namdev
The avifaunal diversity of Bundelkhand Region is being studied since 2008. However, the Herpetofauna is poorly studied and lacks even the baseline data for most of the species. There has been no survey for aquatic reptiles in Bundelkhand region. During the research work and various surveys undertaken from 2015-2018, occurrence of Vulnerable Marsh Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) was recorded at several sites including rivers, reservoirs and lakes. The observations show the possibility of a promising population of mugger in Bundelkhand region, particularly the river Betwa. Crocodylus palustris was sighted in Jhansi, Lalitpur, Shivpuri and Tikamgarh districts. However, secondary data reveals a population of 400-500 crocodiles in River Betwa alone. For long-term conservation of this species, there should be scientific annual counting and monitoring of crocodile populations with the involvement of local people, and create awareness for this Vulnerable according to IUCN and Schedule-I species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.