Population Assessment of Crocodiles in Bueng Boraphet, Thailand
Keywords:Population, Crocodiles, Bueng Boraphet, Thailand
This study aimed to estimate the number and distribution of crocodiles in Bueng Boraphet, Nakhon Sawan Province, Thailand. The surveys were conducted between November 2017 and August 2018. The data was obtained from nighttime spotlight and daylight visual surveys using motorboat along two line transects totaling 38 kilometers and covered an area about 7.6 square kilometers of Bueng Boraphet coastal area. Our results revealed that the number of crocodiles was at least 17 individuals with density of 2.24 individuals per square kilometers. The calculated population of crocodiles in the Bueng Boraphet was estimated to be about 17-37 individuals. In this study, most crocodiles were found in the first transect line located in the aquatic sanctuary area where all fishery is strictly prohibited. It shows that human activities directly affect crocodile encounters and these small numbers of crocodiles in Bueng Boraphet remain critically endangered. Therefore, the implementation of protection action is a high-priority project that needs to be done first before further restocking can be undertaken. Bueng Boraphet can be developed into national natural crocodile conservation, while eco-tourism activities can be expanded in such area. Furthermore, population surveys should be carried out continuously to determine population dynamics and develop a crocodile surveillance system. At the same time community engagement should be initiated to support the system to sustainable conservation.
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