Status and distribution of Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris in the southern stretch of river Cauvery in Melagiris, India

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Rahul Gour
Nikhil Whitaker
Ajay Kartik


A study was conducted to examine the population estimate and spatial distribution of Mugger Crocodile in the southern stretch of river Cauvery, Hosur Forest Division from February 2019 to May 2019. In total, 53 basking sites and 45 Muggers were encountered by direct sighting in the 24-km river stretch using daytime ground based survey approach. N-mixture models estimated an average Mugger density of 2.05 individuals per kilometre for daytime survey. A night spotlight survey across the seven segments of river stretch was also conducted which yielded direct sightings of 54 Muggers with an average encounter rate of 2.25 individuals per kilometre. Two crocodile nests with hatched egg shells were also observed on the sand banks of the river. We concluded that a potential healthy and breeding population of Mugger inhabits the studied stretch of the river. Multiple corresponding analysis was also performed, which demonstrated that Mugger responds to sandy banks alongside deep water pools for basking in contrast to river segments with shallow depth and dense riparian cover.

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