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Journeying to freedom: the spatial ecology of a reintroduced population of Orinoco crocodiles (Crocodylus intermedius) in Colombia

Rafael A. Moreno-Arias, María Cristina Ardila-Robayo
2020 Animal Biotelemetry  
bstract Background: The Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) is the largest crocodile and the most threatened by extinction in the Neotropics due to overexploitation for the skin trade during the early-middle twentieth century. Knowledge of their ecology is poor in Colombia because long-term armed conflict has restricted fieldwork. In 2015, we reintroduced four captive-reared adult crocodiles, each equipped with a Sirtrack KiwiSat 202 satellite transmitter and monitored their movements
more » ... their movements from 2015 to 2018. Results: Seasonal movements were as far 177 km in males and 115 km in females. Home ranges were as large as 55 km 2 for males and 16 km 2 for females for a single year and 178 km 2 and 21 km 2 , respectively, for males and females over 2 years. Spatial ecological patterns changed drastically by season, with males increasing their home range and females reducing home range during the wet season. We confirmed that daily activity patterns defined as measure by number of locations across the day were not influenced by season. Conclusions: We believe that seasonal changes in the size and shape of home ranges were associated with patrolling or exploratory behaviors after release, while daily activity behavior was independent of season, sex or size of the animal.
doi:10.1186/s40317-020-00202-2 fatcat:mwqaicv3o5cxfiw5lhtpru7vn4