Overcoming crocodile breeding hazards with AI

Aug 28, 2012

The world's first artificial insemination of crocodiles is one step closer thanks to a novel project between The University of Queensland (UQ) and a central Queensland farmer.

Reproductive biologist at UQ's School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Dr Steve Johnston, has successfully collected semen from three metre long at the Koorana crocodile farm near Rockhampton, central Queensland and will begin of female crocodiles in a couple of weeks.

Dr Johnston is presenting his research findings, which include discoveries of aspects of the crocodiles' reproductive processes that were little known to science, at the Zoo and Aquarium Association Conference being held on the Gold Coast this week.

Dr Johnston is working with crocodile farmer John Lever on the project, which is supported by a $22,000 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation grant.

"Our work will assist crocodile farmers by improving breeding success rates and removing the risk that comes with housing large male crocodiles on farms, but will also help with the conservation of rare and endangered around the world," Dr Johnston said.

"Large, sexually mature male crocodiles are very aggressive and this can be hazardous for farm staff and female crocodiles.

"We are looking at methods to extract sperm from wild male populations, so there is not the necessity to have males on site in captive situations.

"If we can collect semen safely from large male crocodiles in the wild, this will also strengthen ."

Using natural techniques that Dr Johnston described as like "tickling a crocodile", he collected samples in a pilot project last year on large males from the farm, which were temporarily sedated during the process and then safely returned to their ponds.

The researchers also learned more about the of males and female estuarine crocodiles via non-invasive .

are ambush attackers, with the strongest bite of any animal, measured at more than 30,000kPa, almost double that of a great white shark.

Dr Johnston was part of the team that in 1998 announced the world's first koala baby born by artificial insemination (AI) of its mother.

He has also pioneered AI techniques in Barbary sheep and Banteng cattle, and is conducting similar work on the southern hairy-nosed wombat.

Dr Johnston will present his work at the Zoo and Aquarium Association Conference at 9.45am on Thursday, 30 August 2012.

Explore further: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Malaysia scientists tag Borneo saltwater crocodile

Jun 29, 2011

Wildlife researchers in Malaysia are to track a saltwater crocodile by satellite, they said Wednesday, in a bid to find out why nearly 40 people have been attacked on Borneo island over a decade.

Endangered crocodiles released to fight extinction

Jan 27, 2011

Nineteen of the world's most critically endangered crocodiles were released Thursday into the wild in the Philippines as part of efforts to save the species from extinction, conservationists said.

No place for crocodiles in Philippines: official

Sep 14, 2011

Efforts to save the Philippine crocodile, a "critically endangered" reptile, could go in vain as bureaucrats oppose their release into the wild, a top Philippine environment official said Wednesday.

Borneo's crocodiles 'no longer endangered'

Jun 28, 2010

Wildlife officials in Malaysian Borneo are pushing to have its saltwater crocodiles removed from a list of endangered animals, saying the reptile's numbers have strongly recovered in recent years.

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.