Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crocodile monitoring

Recurrently our main partner, the Kenyan Wildlife Service in Shimoni has to respond to reports of crocodile attacks in the inland of Kwale district. Several rather large rivers have their deltas in the area bringing amounts fresh-water to sustain populations of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus). Previously reports were scattered and incoherent but with several human deaths in the last few years, crocodiles have become a very serious issue.

Nile crocodile swimming at dawn

Nile crocodiles are not endangered on a world-wide scale but take large blows locally and are a crucial part of the African ecosystem. Simply removing crocodiles, apart from being a gargantuous task might simply not be sustainable.

Danny and Lucy surveying at Kibuyuni Dam

In response to this, GVI, with outside expertise from several crocodile specialists has initiated a preliminary assessment of the threats. A visit to all known crocodile hotspots, several surveys and interviews suggest the threat is mainly seasonal with the exceptions of one or two sites. Crocodile habitat increases immensely when the rivers turn into large floodplains during the wet season. A classic solution could be the placement of crocodile fences, allowing the separation of crocodiles and humans along the banks of rivers and ponds. For some sites, simply placing a sign stating the danger would be enough to prevent further conflict.

We’ll make sure to keep you updated on the progress and we’ll put the report online soon.

A decent sized adult Nile Crocodile