Boss crocs: Rethinking crocodile management

May 02, 2013

(Phys.org) —University of Queensland ecologists have released research that will result in better crocodiles management and intervention. Dr Hamish Campbell, from UQ's School of Biological Sciences, and colleagues from Australia Zoo have used satellite tagging to accurately record the location of male and female adult crocodiles during the breeding and nesting season.

"Social interactions are important to how estuarine move and utilise new habitat," Dr Campbell said.

"It is necessary to consider crocodile interactions prior to the implementation of management interventions.

"Removing the large dominant male crocodile 'The boss croc' will create a vacuum in the area that could be filled by another male which may be less wary of humans."

The study, published in the PloS-ONE, involved tagging adult in the Wenlock River.

was collected twice daily and the calculation of the cumulative home range illustrated the of the crocodiles.

Dr Campbell said the researchers found subordinate crocodiles travelled over 1000 km in 6 months, and could travel as much as 50 km in a single day

The 'boss crocs' were also very active but they moved around within their territory. .

"The data showed that large adult estuarine crocodiles were far more mobile than previously considered, and populations live within a complex social system," he said.

"It appears that the boss crocs control that contain females, and force out subordinate males that can still be more than four metres in length.

"These males roam over hundreds of kilometres in search of a mate, and are likely to be the crocodiles that turn up as problem animals."

Dr Campbell said the study strongly recommend that the impact of crocodile removal on the of the population be thoroughly evaluated.

"Only by thorough evaluation of this management strategy, taking into account any consequences of social disturbance, can the desired outcome be achieved," he said.

Explore further: Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

More information: www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0062127

Related Stories

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.

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.

20 endangered Siamese crocodiles hatch in Laos

Aug 26, 2011

(AP) -- One of the world's rarest crocodile species has moved a little bit further from extinction with the hatching of 20 wild eggs plucked from a nest found in southern Laos.

Recommended for you

Birds time breeding to hit 'peak caterpillar'

10 hours ago

When oaks burst into life in spring populations of oak-leaf-eating caterpillars boom: this offers a food bonanza for caterpillar-munching birds looking to raise a family.

11 new species come to light in Madagascar

17 hours ago

Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island's forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever. Rapid deforestation is affecting the ...

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

May 23, 2015

Many animals feed on seeds, acorns or nuts. The common feature of these are that they have shells and there is no direct way to know what's inside. How do the animals know how much and what quality of food ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.