People, Travel

Need to Map Mugger Croc Territory

Muggers are among the largest crocodile species in terms of size.Muggers are among the largest crocodile species in terms of size.

A senior official in Sistan-Baluchestan Province has called on environment authorities to help map the territory of the mugger crocodile to allow tourists to safely venture in areas where the vulnerable species roams.

“Despite the fact that mugger crocodile attacks in Iran are rare, precautions must be taken,” Baqer Kord, a deputy at the provincial governorate, said at a meeting on Thursday, ISNA reported.

The official said devising a “tourism atlas” that clearly shows the boundaries of the crocodile’s territory can help promote safe tourism.

He suggested that in cooperation with the local telecom company, measures can be put in place whereby tourists who enter the crocodile’s territory receive a text message informing them of it.

Nayyereh Pourmolaei, the head of the provincial office of the Department of Environment, described the mugger croc as a “natural treasure” that can be used to develop ecotourism in the southeastern province.

Easily recognized by its wide flat snout, the mugger is considered one of the most dangerous crocodile species to humans.

According to CrocBITE, muggers attacked 224 people worldwide between 2012 and 2016. In Iran, however, only three people were attacked by muggers in the same period, one of which was fatal.

The mugger croc is found in freshwater pools, wetlands and slow-moving lakes from Iran to the western reaches of Southeast Asia, according to Britannica.

Among the largest crocodile species in terms of size, muggers can grow to about 4 to 5 meters. Although they tend to feed on fish and reptiles, some have fed on larger prey, such as deer.

The government has taken steps in the past two years to protect this species.

In 2015, the High Environment Council criminalized the poaching of mugger croc.

In March, DOE announced that it had prepared comprehensive plans to protect six out of the 74 endangered animal species in Iran, including the mugger.

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