Nest-site selection, nesting behaviour and spatial ecology of female Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in South Africa

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Publication Details

Contributor list: Combrink X, Warner JK, Downs CT

Publisher: Elsevier


Publication year: 2017

Journal: Behavioural Processes (ISSN:0376-6357) PubCount Year: 2018, 2019, 2020

Journal acronym: BEHAV PROCESS

Volume number: 135

Start page: 101

End page: 112

Number of pages: 12

ISSN: 0376-6357

Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)

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Nesting biology and ecology have been investigated for Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), but information on behaviour and movement patterns of nesting females during nest guarding is scant. Consequently, we investigated the home ranges, nest-site selection strategies, movement patterns, activity levels and nest fidelity of four nesting females using telemetry. Gravid females selected winter basking/breeding areas close (351 +/- 2m) to nest-sites. Mean home range and core-use areas of nesting females were 8539 +/- 4752 m(2), and 4949 +/- 3302 m(2) respectively. Mean home range (0.85 ha) was significantly smaller than those of non-nesting females (108.4 ha) during nesting season. Activity levels and mean daily movements while nesting were 8.1 +/- 2.5% and 213 +/- 64 m, respectively, and increased to 47.9 +/- 11.7% and 2176 708 m post-nesting. Overall levels of nest fidelity were 82.8 +/- 11.7%, (day 78.1 +/- 15.9%; night 87.3 7.8%). Highest nest fidelity recorded during incubation was 99.7% over 96 days. Telemetry data from nesting females were helpful for elucidating spatial and behavioural patterns during the nest guarding period, and provided novel insights into this biologically important event. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Crocodile activity, Crocodile movement, Nest fidelity, Nest guarding, Nesting biology, Nile crocodile


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Last updated on 2020-20-04 at 05:12