Results of the 2015 Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) count at Vadodara, Gujarat, India
This report documents the Mugger Crocodile census conducted on 20–21 January 2015 at Vadodara City, Gujarat. This is a periodic procedure and part of an ongoing study designed to monitor this urban population with the help of public participation. The results show gradual increase in the Mugger populaion within the demarcated stretch of the River Vishwamitri. The night-count numbers indicated the presence of 250 individuals of various sizes (<1 m to > 4 m in total length). Mugger Crocodiles are wild, aquatic, carnivorous animals that have been flourishing in close proximity to humans, allowing for a noteworthy case study of the human-Mugger relationship. However, direct and indirect conflict data from the year 2014 are alarming – 24 documented Mugger attacks (12 of which were fatal) within the state, seven (three fatal) within the city limits, and 48 Muggers of various sizes rescued from the area. These numbers are indicative of a unique, complicated, and delicate relationship between humans and crocodiles as a balance is sought between Mugger conservation and a steadily rising urban population.
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