(Last Updated on : 06/01/2014)
Amaravathi Crocodile Farm holds the largest wild breeding population of crocodiles in South India. Some of the crocodiles also live in the River Chinnar, River Thennar and the River Pambar that drain into it. These broad-snouted Mugger Crocodiles, also known as Marsh crocodiles and Persian crocodiles, are the most common and widely spread of the three species of crocodiles found in India. These crocodiles eat fish, other reptiles, large and small mammals and are sometimes dangerous to human beings. Crocodiles, mainly the mugger crocodile, were once abundant in Amaravati River
, Periyar River
and Chinnar River and in most of other perennial rivers, have been threatened to near extinction. Thus, the project of captive breeding of these crocodiles came into existing at Amaravathi.
The primary objective of the captive breeding of crocodiles at Amaravathi as in other crocodile centre in Tamil Nadu is to collect crocodile eggs from the wild clutch and to rear them in captivity and release the young ones in the wild to restore its status. The Amaravathi Crocodile Farm or the Amaravathi Sagar Crocodile Farm was established in the year 1976, the largest crocodile nursery (captivity) in India. It is at a distance of about ninety kilometres from Tiruppur via Palladam and Udumalpet and at a distance of one kilometre before the site of Amaravathi Reservoir
A number of crocodiles of all sizes can be seen basking in the sun and of a sudden making a stride or piled up on one another. Eggs of these crocodiles are collected from wild nests along the perimeter of the reservoir to be hatched and reared at the Farm. Several adult crocodiles have been reintroduced from here into the wild. Presently there are about ninety eight crocodiles maintained in captivity here. Three Forest Department personnel manage and maintain the Centre.
During the 1980's, the largest population of wild crocodiles in the state of Tamil Nadu, lived in the Amaravathi Reservoir, and in the Chinnar, Thennar and Pambar rivers that drain into it. The Amaravathi Sagar Crocodile Farm, which was established in the year 1975, is the largest crocodile nursery in India. There were up to four hundred and thirty animals maintained in captivity at one time.