Home range and movements of radio-tracked estuarine crocodiles (crocodylus porosus) within a non-tidal waterhole
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Brien, ML and Read, MA and McCallum, HI and Grigg, GC, Home range and movements of radio-tracked estuarine crocodiles (crocodylus porosus) within a non-tidal waterhole, Wildlife Research, 35, (2) pp. 140-149. ISSN 1035-3712 (2008) [Refereed Article]
We radio-tracked five male and eight female estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in a non-tidal waterhole in Lakefield National Park in northern Queensland during the late dry/mid-wet season (2003-04) and the following dry season (2004). Individual crocodiles occupied larger home ranges (River Channel Areas (RCA) during the late dry/mid-wet season (10.64 ± 2.86 ha) than in the dry season (3.20 ± 1.02 ha), and males occupied larger home ranges (23.89 ± 2.36 ha) than females (5.94 ± 1.34 ha) during the late dry/mid-wet season. There were no obvious differences in home range between sexes during the dry season. During the late dry/mid-wet season, adult males often travelled long distances along the waterhole while females moved less. During the dry season, movement patterns were quite variable, with no clear difference between sexes. All crocodiles were most active from late afternoon (1500-1800 hours) until midnight. Individual home ranges (RCA) overlapped considerably during the late dry/mid-wet season. The extent of home-range overlap between three adult males and the number of times they either passed each other or were located near each other was particularly striking. Previous research has come to conflicting conclusions about the extent of territoriality in wild estuarine crocodiles, although it has been widely believed that males are highly territorial. The findings imply that large adult male estuarine crocodiles are not highly territorial in non-tidal freshwater systems that are geographically confined. © CSIRO 2008.
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