Main Article Content
In this paper, we report monitoring of a resident population of Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris (Lesson, 1831) along a stretch of 3.5 km of the river Savitri on the outskirts of Mahad town of Raigad District in Maharashtra, on monthly basis from 2014 to 2021. This river is increasingly becoming a sink of anthropogenic wastes emerging from adjacent settlements impacting its habitat value, and puts the reptile side by side with humans and human-wastes that could be a cause of rising incidents of crocodile mortality in the recent times here, as also reported from elsewhere. Savitri River has been a fishing ground for local indigenous communities, who also use the river bank for washing clothes and utensils, and for swimming. Such proximity between people and crocodiles creates a potential for negative interaction. This long term study monitored the Mugger population trends for the last eight years at four transect stretches along the river. Counts are suggestive of a healthy viable population of Mugger in this river currently, but a future conflict situation cannot be ruled out. Being generalist feeders, Muggers can sustain themselves on fish, and scavenge on dumped carrion and other anthropogenic organic wastes. With the exception of a few sporadic incidents of aggression by the Muggers at this location, no human casualties have been reported thus far, however, this does not rule out fatal reciprocal interactions in future and hence a few practical mitigation measures have been suggested.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.2718.104.22.16853-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Balaguera-Reina, S.A., M.D. Venegas-Anaya, B. Rivera-Rivera, D.A.M. Ramırez & L.D. Densmore III (2018). How to estimate population size in crocodylians? Population ecology of American crocodiles in Coiba Island as study case. Ecosphere 9(10): e02474. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2474 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2474
Borkar, M.R. & M. Mallya (1992). Ecotheological basis of crocodile conservation in Goa. Biology Education 9(4): 297–298.
Borkar, M.R., M.K. Mallya, S. Christopher & S. Phatak (1993). Final Technical Report on ‘The status of the Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris, Lesson) in the Cumbarjua canal of Goa’. Report submitted to the World wide Fund for Nature India (WWF)–Goa Division, 98 pp.
Bowen-Jones, E. (2012). Tackling human-wildlife conflict: a prerequisite for linking conservation and poverty alleviation. Poverty and Conservation Learning Group Discussion Paper No 6, International Institute for Environment and Development.
Brara, S. (2013). Invaded by simians. The Hindu (11 May 2013), pp. 1–2.
Bucol, A.A., R.I. Manalo, A.C. Alcala, P.S. Aspilla, V.P. Mercado, W.T. Belo & S.S. Chan (2014). Do crocodiles benefit local fishery productivity in the Philippines? In: Crocodile Specialist Group. World Crocodile Conference. Proceedings of the 23rd working meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, Louisiana, USA: International Union for Conservation of Nature, 306–316pp.
Carter, N.H. & J.D.C. Linnell (2016). Co-adaptation is key to coexisting with large carnivores. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 31: 575–578. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2016.05.006
Choudhary, S., B.C. Choudhury & V.G. Govindhan (2018). Spatio‐temporal partitioning between two sympatric crocodilians (Gavialis gangeticus & Crocodylus palustris) in Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Aquatic Conservation 28(5): 1067–1076. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2911
Connors, B.M., A.B. Cooper, R.M. Peterman & N.K. Dulvy (2014). The false classification of extinction risk in noisy environments. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281(1787): 20132935. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.2935
CrocBITE, Worlwide Crocodilian Attack Database: About human-crocodile conflict. Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory, Australia.
Daniel, J.C. (2002). The book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford, 252 pp.
Das, C.S. & R. Jana (2017). Human-crocodile conflict in the Indian Sundarban: an analysis of spatio-temporal incidences in relation to people’s livelihood. Oryx 52(4): 661–668. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605316001502
Da Silva, A. & J. Lenin (2010). Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris. Crocodiles, Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, Third Edition, pp. 94–98; ed. by S.C. Manolis and C. Stevenson. Crocodile Specialist Group: Darwin.
Davidar, P. (2018). The term human-wildlife conflict creates more problems than it resolves: better labels should be considered. Journal of Threatened Taxa 10(8): 12082–12085. http://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4322.214.171.12482-12085 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.43126.96.36.19982-12085
Deraniyagala, P.E.P. (1939). The Tetrapod Reptiles of Ceylon; Testudinates and Crocodilians – Vol. 1. National Museums of Sri Lanka, Colombo, 412 pp.
De Silva, A. (2016). Crocodiles: Our Living Dinosaurs. Loris, Journal of Wildlife and Nature Protection Society of Sri Lanka. 27(5&6): 22–27.
Deutsch, M. & P. Coleman (eds.) (2000). The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice. Jossey–Bass, San Francisco, 960 pp.
De Vos, A. (1984). Crocodile conservation in India. Biological Conservation 29(1984): 183–189. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-3207(84)90076-4
Dickman, A.J. (2010). Complexities of conflict: the importance of considering social factors for effectively resolving human-wildlife conflict. Animal Conservation 13: 458–466. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00368.x
Distefano, E. (2008). Human wildlife conflict - Worldwide collection of Case studies. Analysis of Management strategies and good practices. SARD Initiative Report FAO Rome, 29 pp.
Fisher, E. & H. Shah (1971). Mogra Dev, tribal crocodile gods: wooden crocodile images of Chodhri, Gamit, and Vasava tribes, South Gujarat (India). Gujarat Vidyapeeth, Ahmadabad, 43 pp.
Frank, B. (2016). Human-wildlife conflicts and the need to include tolerance and coexistence: an introductory comment. Society & Natural Resources 29: 738–743. https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2015.1103388 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2015.1103388
Fukuda, Y., P. Whitehead & G. Boggs (2007). Broad scale environmental influences on the abundance of saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in Australia. Wildlife Research 34: 167–176. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1071/WR06110
Fukuda, Y., G. Webb, C. Manolis, R. Delaney, M. Letnic, G. Lindner & P. Whitehead (2011). Recovery of saltwater crocodiles following unregulated hunting in tidal rivers of the Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Wildlife Management 75: 1253–1266. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jwmg.191
Fukuda, Y., W. Saalfeld, G. Webb, C. Manolis & R. Risk (2012). Standardised method of spotlight surveys for crocodiles in the tidal rivers of the Northern Territory, Australia. Northern Territory Naturalist 24: 14–32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5962/p.295436
Gillingham, S. & P.C. Lee (2003). People and protected areas: a study of local perceptions of wildlife crop-damage conflict in an area bordering the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Oryx 37: 316–325. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605303000577
Glen, A.S., C.R. Dickman, M.E. Soulé & B.G. Mackey (2007). Evaluating the role of the dingo as a trophic regulator in Australian ecosystems, Austral Ecology 32: 492–501. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1442-9993.2007.01721.x
Gonzales, M., R.I. Manalo, V.L.B. Alibo, V.P. Mercado, W.T. Belo & D.C. Barlis (2013). Manobo-Crocodile Co-Existence in Agusan Marsh, Philippines: A Cultural Legacy of Mutual Benefit, pp. 83–89. In: World Crocodile Conference, Proceeding of the 22nd Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN: Gland, Switzerland, 438 pp.
Groombridge, B. (ed.) (1992). Global Biodiversity: Status of the Earth’s Living Resources. Compiled by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Chapman & Hall, London, 594 pp.
Hariohay, K.M., R.D. Fyumagwa, J. Kideghesho & E. Røskaft (2018). Awareness and attitudes of local people toward wildlife conservation in the Rungwa Game Reserve in Central Tanzania. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 23: 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2018.1494866 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10871209.2018.1494866
Hekkala, E., M.H. Shirley, G. Amato, J.D. Austin, S. Charter, J. Thorbjarnarson, K.A. Vliet, M.L. Houck, R. Desalle & M.J. Blum (2011). An ancient icon reveals new mysteries: mummy DNA resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile. Molecular Ecology 20(20): 4199–4215. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05245.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-294X.2011.05245.x
Hill, C.M. (2021). Conflict Is Integral to Human-Wildlife Coexistence. Frontiers in Conservation Science 2(734314): 1–4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcosc.2021.734314 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fcosc.2021.734314
Hill, C., F.V. Osborn & A.J. Plumptre (2002). Human-wildlife conflict: identifying the problem and possible solution. Albertine Rift Technical Report Series, Vol. 1, Wildlife Conservation Society.
Holmes, E.E. (2001). Estimating risks in declining populations with poor data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 98(9): 5072–5077. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.081055898
Holmes, E.E., J.L. Sabo, S.V. Viscido & W.F. Fagan (2007). A statistical approach to quasi‐extinction forecasting. Ecology Letters 10(12): 1182–1198. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01105.x
Inskip, C. & A. Zimmermann (2009). Human-felid conflict: a review of patterns and priorities worldwide. Oryx 43: 18–34. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S003060530899030X
Kochery, K. (2018). Crocodilia Urbanis: Co-existing with urban wildlife. Case study of River Vishwamitri, Vadodara, India. MSc thesis in Landscape Architecture submitted to Wageningen University and Research, 112 pp.
König, H.J., C. Kiffner, S. Kramer-Schadt, C. Fürst, O. Keuling & A.T. Ford (2020). Human–wildlife coexistence in a changing world. Special section: challenges of and solutions to human–wildlife conflicts in agricultural landscapes. Conservation Biology 34(4): 786–94. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13513
Lamarque, F., J. Anderson, R. Fergusson, M. Lagrange, Y. Osei-Owusu & L. Bakker (2009). Human wildlife conflict in Africa - Causes, consequences and management strategies. FAO Forestry Paper 157, FAO, Rome.
Linnell J., J. Thomassen & K. Jones (2011). Wildlife-human interactions: from conflict to coexistence in sustainable landscapes. NINA Special Report 45. Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Norway, 12 pp.
Leslie, A.J. & J.R. Spotila (2001). Alien plant threatens Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) breeding in Lake St. Lucia, South Africa. Biological Conservation 98: 347–355. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(00)00177-4
Lettink, M. & D.P. Armstrong (2003). An introduction to using mark-recapture analysis for monitoring threatened species, pp. 5–32. In: Department of Conservation (eds.). Using mark-recapture analysis for monitoring threatened species: introduction and case study. Department of Conservation Technical Series 28, New Zealand.
Mackenzie, C.A. & P. Ahabyona (2012). Elephants in the garden: financial and social costs of crop raiding. Ecological Economics 75: 72–82. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.12.018
Mangansakan, D.G. (2008). Crocodile Symbolism in Maguindanao Culture. National Museum Papers 14 (Special Issue): 133–139.
Mateo-Tomás, P., P.P. Olea, I.S. Sanchez-Barbudo & R. Mateo (2012). Alleviating human-wildlife conflicts: identifying the causes and mapping the risk of illegal poisoning of wild fauna. Journal of Applied Ecology 49(2012): 376–385. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2012.02119.x
Messmer, T.A. (2000). The emergence of human–wildlife conflict management: turning challenges into opportunities. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 45(2000): 97–102. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0964-8305(00)00045-7
Michalski, F., R.L.P. Boulhosa, A. Faria & C.A. Peres (2006). Human-wildlife conflicts in a fragmented Amazonian forest landscape: determinants of large felid depredation on livestock. Animal Conservation 9(2006): 179–188. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-1795.2006.00025.x
Mir, Z.R., A. Noor, B. Habib & G.G. Veeraswami (2015). Attitudes of Local People toward Wildlife Conservation: A Case Study from the Kashmir Valley. Mountain Research and Development 35(4): 392–400. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1659/MRD-JOURNAL-D-15-00030.1
Mobaraki, A., E. Abtn, M. Erfani & C. Stevenson (2021). Total length and head length relationship in Mugger Crocodiles Crocodylus palustris in Iran. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(8): 19162–19164. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.62188.8.131.5262-19164 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.62184.108.40.20662-19164
Murray, C.M., P. Russo, A. Zorrilla & C.D. McMahan (2019). Divergent morphology among populations of the New Guinea Crocodile, Crocodylus novaeguineae (Schmidt, 1928): diagnosis of an independent lineage and description of a new species. Copeia 107(3): 517–523. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1643/CG-19-240
Patel, D., A. Vasava, K. Patel, V. Mistry, M. Patel & R. Vyas (2014). Attitudes, Perceptions and Knowledge of the local people regarding crocodile and their conservation in Charotar region, Gujarat, India, pp. 336–347. Proceedings of the 23rd Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission of IUCN, at McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA,.
Pooley, S. (2016). Croc Digest: A Bibliography of Human-Crocodile Conflicts Research and Reports. London, 33 pp.
Rao, R.J. & R.K. Gurjwar (2013). Crocodile human conflict in National Chambal Sanctuary, India. Proceedings: World Crocodile Conference, 22nd Working Meeting of the IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN: Gland, Switzerland, 105–109 pp.
Rao, K.S., R. K. Maikhuri, S. Nautiyal & K.G. Saxena (2002). Crop damage and livestock depredation by wildlife: a case study from Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, India. Journal of Environmental Management 66: 317–327. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1006/jema.2002.0587
Ross, J.P. (1998). Crocodiles: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. 2nd edition, IUCN Species Survival Commission, Crocodile Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland, 96 pp.
Sahoo, S.K. & S.M. Mohnot (2004). A survey of crop damage by Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mullata) and Hanuman Langur (Semnopithecus entellus) in Himachal Pradesh, India. Tiger Paper 31(2004): 1–6.
Schon, T. (2013). The cost of having wild boar: damage to agriculture in South-Southeast Sweden. Master’s dissertation Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, 40 pp.
Shirley, M.H., K.A. Vliet, A.N. Carr & J.D. Austin (2013). Rigorous approaches to species delimitation have significant implications for African crocodilian systematics and conservation. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281: 20132483. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.2483 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.2483
Shirley, M.H., A.N. Carr, J.H. Nestler, K.A. Vliet & C.A. Brochu (2018). Systematic revision of the living African Slender-snouted Crocodiles (Mecistops Gray, 1844). Zootaxa 4504(2): 151–193. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4504.2.1
Sidaleau, B. & A. Britton (2012). A Preliminary Analysis of Worldwide Crocodilian Attacks. Crocodiles, Proceedings of the 21st Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN: Gland, Switzerland: 111–114 pp.
Singh, L.A.K. (1993). New strategy suggested to save Crocodiles. Down to Earth March 1993.
Smith, E.N. (1979). Behavioral and Physiological Thermoregulation in Crocodilians. American Zoologist 19: 239–247. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/19.1.239
Somaweera, R., J. Nifong, A. Rosenblatt, M.L. Brien, X. Combrink, R.M. Elsey, G. Grigg, W.E. Magnusson, F.J. Mazzotti, A. Pearcy, S.G. Platt, M.H. Shirley, M. Tellez, J. Ploeg, G. Webb, R. Whitaker & B.L. Webber (2020). The ecological importance of crocodylians: towards evidence-based justification for their conservation. Biological Reviews Cambridge Philosophical Society 95(4): 936–959. https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12594 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12594
Southwood, T.R.E. & P.A. Henderson (2003). Ecological Methods. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK, 592 pp.
Stevenson, C. (2019). Crocodiles of the world: A complete guide to Alligators, Caimans, Crocodiles and Gharials. New Holland Publishers, 287pp.
Stevenson, C., A. de Silva, R. Vyas, T. Nair, A. Mobaraki & A.A. Chaudhry (2014). Human-Crocodile Conflict in South East and Iran. 23rd Working Meeting of IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, At: Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA Vol.: pp. 209–226, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320288323_Human Crocodile_Conflict_in_South_Asia_and_Iran.
Thompson, W.L. (2002). Towards reliable bird surveys: accounting for individuals present but not detected. The Auk 119: 18–25. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/auk/119.1.18
Thorbjarnarson, J.B. (1992). Crocodiles: An action plan for their conservation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 136 pp.
Treves, A. (2009). The human dimensions of conflicts with wildlife around protected areas, pp. 214–228. In: Manfredo, M., J.J. Vaske, P. Brown, D.J. Decker & E.A. Duke (eds.). Wildlife and society: the science of human dimensions. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
Uluwaduge, P., K.V.D. Edirisooriya, E.M. Menike, T.K. Senevirathna & G.C.L. Pathirana (2018). Mitigating the Human-Crocodile Conflict in Sri Lanka: A Study Based on the Nilwala River Area in Matara District. Science Direct Procedia Engineering 212(2018): 994–1001. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2018.01.128
Upadhyay, J.N. & R.K. Sahu (2013). Study on Crocodylus palustris: co-existence of men, animal and population survey at Kheda Anand district in Gujarat, India, pp. 116–122. In: World Crocodile Conference, Proceedings of the 22nd Working Meeting of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN: Gland, Switzerland.
Vasava, A., D. Patel, R. Vyas, V. Mistry & M. Patel (2015). Crocs of Charotar: Status, distribution and conservation of Mugger crocodiles in Charotar region, Gujarat, India. Voluntary Nature Conservancy, Vallabh Vidyanagar, India, Supported by Rufford Small Grant Foundation, Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust and Idea Wild, 54 pp.
Venugopal, P.D. & K.V.D. Prasad (2003). Basking behaviour and survey of Marsh Crocodiles, Crocodylus palustris (Lesson, 1831) in Ranganthittu bird sanctuary, Karnataka, India. Hamadryad 27(2): 241–247.
Verdade, L.M. (2000). Regression equation between body and head measurement in the broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latrostris). Revista Brasileira de Biologia 60(3): 469–482. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/S0034-71082000000300012
Vyas, R. (2013). Recent Scenario of Mugger (Crocodylus palustris) population in three districts of Gujarat State, India. Proceedings of World Crocodile Conference, 22nd Working meeting of the IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group 220–226pp.
Vyas R. & C.J. Stevenson (2017). Review and analysis of human and Mugger Crocodile conflict in Gujarat, India from 1960 to 2013. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(12): 11016–11024. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.37220.127.116.1116-11024 DOI: https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3718.104.22.16816-11024
Vyas, R. & A. Vasava (2019). Mugger crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris) mortality due to road and railways in Gujarat, India. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 14(3): 615–626.
Webb, G.J.W. (1991). The influence of season on Australian crocodiles, pp. 125-131. In Monsoonal Australia. Landscape, ecology and man in the northern lowlands (eds C.D. Haynes, M.G. Ridpath and M.A.J. Willliams), A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Whitaker, N. (2007). Survey of Human/Crocodile Conflict in India, Maharashtra State. December 2007, IUCN, 18 pp.
Whitaker, N. (2008). Survey of Human-Crocodile Conflict in Gujarat and Rajasthan: Trial of Conflict Mitigation Education Materials and Further Information on Conflicts, 30 pp. Available at: www.iucncsg.org/ph1/modules/Publications/ reports.html
Whitaker, N. & M. Srinivasan (2020). Human crocodile conflict on the Cauvery river delta region, Tamil Nadu, south India. International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Studies 8(5): 01–05.
Whitaker, R. & Z. Whitaker (1989). Ecology of the Mugger crocodile. In: Crocodiles: Their Ecology, Management and Conservation, A Special Publication of the Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, 276–297 pp.
Whitaker, R. & N. Whitaker (2008). Who’s got the biggest? Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter 27(4): 26–30.
Wolch, J. (1996). Zoopolis. Capitalism Nature Socialism 7(2): 21–47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10455759609358677
Woodroffe, R., S. Thirgood & A. Rabinowitz (2005). The impact of human–wildlife conflict on natural systems. People and wildlife: conflict and coexistence, Cambridge University Press, New York pp. 1–12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511614774.002
Wu, X.B., H. Xue, L.S. Wu, J.L. Zhu & R.P. Wang (2006). Regression analysis between body and head measurements of Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) in captive population. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation 29(1): 65–71.