International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation
Subscribe to IJBC
Full Name*
Email Address*

Article Number - 3C0080666713


Vol.9(12), pp. 350-362 , December 2017
DOI: 10.5897/IJBC2017.1119
ISSN: 2141-243X



Full Length Research Paper

Distribution and habitat suitability of Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus, L. 1768) in Tekeze River Dam, Tigray, Ethiopia



Chala Adugna
  • Chala Adugna
  • Department of Biology, Woldia University, Woldia, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Solomon Kiros
  • Solomon Kiros
  • Department of Biology, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Tadesse Dejene
  • Tadesse Dejene
  • Department of Biology, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Tsehaye Asmelash
  • Tsehaye Asmelash
  • Department of Microbiology, Mekelle University, Mekelle, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar
Kiros M. Hadgu
  • Kiros M. Hadgu
  • ICRAF Ethiopia Offices, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar







 Received: 17 June 2017  Accepted: 05 September 2017  Published: 31 December 2017

Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0


Understanding the spatial distribution and habitat utilization by animals play a significant role in wildlife conservation and habitat management for the benefits of both animals and communities living close to protected areas. This study was conducted to identify the distribution and habitat use of Crocodilus niloticus in Tekeze River Dam through qualitative and quantitative surveys based on diurnal survey, semi-structured questionnaire and geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis methods. The Tekeze River Dam representing the study area was divided into seven stratified river stratum. All spatial data were recorded and analyzed using ArcGIS 10 software. The distribution revealed that C. niloticus were registered along the main river stretch and its tributaries. Majority of C. niloticus prefer river banks, shallow water depth and rocky ground to perform their activity patterns. Along the 71.2 km² of the study area delineated for habitat preferences, 9.78 km2 was the highly suitable habitat while 4.63 km2 was the  least suitable. The influence on communal resources, fishery activities and irrigation practice at small-scale on river banks and increment of water level due to flooding of the Tekeze River Dam were among the primary causes of disturbances induced by human to C. niloticus distribution and its habitats. The perception of most respondents to the conservation of this specie was not encouraging although their presence in the river was important in keeping the ecological balance of the ecosystem. It is therefore suggested that the success of conservation programs and habitats management should focus on educating the local community to raise awareness and change their attitudes towards promoting conservation development initiatives of C. niloticus in the area.

 

Key words: Crocodilus niloticus, distribution, habitat preferences, Tekeze River Dam, threatened specie.

Aarts G, MacKenzie M, McConnell B, Fedak M, Matthiopoulos J (2008). Estimating space-use and habitat preference from wildlife telemetry data. Ecography 31:140-160.
Crossref

 

Aramde F, Girma M, Tsegaye B (2011). Spatial distribution and habitat preferences of selected large mammalian species in the Nech SAR National Park (NSNP), Ethiopia. Nat. Sci. 9(3):80-90.

 
 

Botha H, Hoven W, Guillette L (2011). The decline of the Nile crocodile population in Loskop Dam, Olifants River, South Africa. Water SA 37(1):103-108.
Crossref

 
 

Bourquin S (2007). The Population Ecology of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, in the Panhandle Region of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology Faculty of Agrisciences University of Stellenbosch (unpublished).

 
 

Brito J, Martı’nez F, Sierra P, Sillero N, Tarroso P (2011). Crocodiles in the Sahara Desert: An Update of Distribution, Habitats and Population Status for Conservation Planning in Mauritania. PLoS ONE 6(2):e14734.
Crossref

 
 

Combrink A (2004). Population survey of Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, at Lake Maya, Republic of South Africa. MSc. thesis, Pietermaritzburg.

 
 

Combrin X, Korrûbel J, Kyle R, Taylor R, Ross P (2011). Evidence of a declining Nile crocodile, Crocodilus niloticus, population at Lake Sibaya, South Africa. S. Afr. J. Wildl. Res. 41(2):145-157.
Crossref

 
 

Ekwal I, Hussain T, Tahir M (2012). Modeling of Habitat Suitability Index for Muntjak, Muntiacus muntjak, Using Remote Sensing, GIS and Multiple Logistic Regressions. J. Settlements Spat. Plan. 3(2):93-102.

 
 

Fergusson R (2010). Nile crocodile Crocodylus niloticus, In: Manolis SC and Stevenson C (eds.), Crocodiles: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, (3rd ed). Crocodile Specialist Group, Darwin. pp. 84-89.

 
 

Gary A, Christopher A (1985). A survey of intraspecific predation among reptiles and amphibians. J. Herpetol. 19(1):99-107.
Crossref

 
 

Harvey K, Hill G (2003). Mapping the nesting habitats of saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in Melacca Swamp and the Adelaide River wetlands, Northern Territory: an approach using remote sensing and GIS. Wildl. Res. 30:365-375.
Crossref

 
 

Hekkala E, Shirley M, Amato G, Austin J, Charter S, Thorbjarnarson J, Houck M, Desalle R, Blum M (2011). An ancient icon reveals new mysteries: mummy DNA resurrects a cryptic species within the Nile crocodile. Mol. Ecol. 20(20):4199-4215.
Crossref

 
 

Hutton J (1989). Movements, Home Range, Dispersal and the Separation of Size Classes in Nile Crocodiles. Am. Zool. 29 (3):1033-1049.
Crossref

 
 

Hutton J, Child G (1989). Crocodile Management in Zimbabwe. In: Crocodiles, their Ecology, Management and Conservation. IUCN - The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland.

 
 

Ijeomah H, Efenakpo O (2011). Analysis of Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, hunting in selected communities around fresh water and salt water transitional areas of rivers state, Nigeria. Trop. Agric. Res. Ext. 14(4):81-84.

 
 

Leslie A, Spotila J (2001). Alien plants threaten Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, breeding in Lake St. Lucia, in South Africa. Biol. Conserv. 98(3):347-355.
Crossref

 
 

Leslie A, Lovely C, Pittman J (2011). A preliminary disease survey in the wild Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, population in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. J. S. Afr. Vet. Ass. 82(3):155-159.
Crossref

 
 

Peterson M (2003). A conceptual view of environment-habitat-production linkages in tidal river estuaries. Rev. Fish. Sci. 11:291-313.
Crossref

 
 

Ron S, Vallejo A, Asanza E (1998). Human Influence on the Wariness of Melanosuchus niger and Caiman crocodilus in Cuyabeno, Ecuador. J. Herpetol. 32:1-320.
Crossref

 
 

Ross J (1998). Crocodiles: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

 
 

Somaweera R, Webb J, Shine R (2011). Determinants of Habitat Selection by Hatchling A Freshwater Crocodiles. PLoS ONE 6(12):e28533.
Crossref

 
 

Wallace K, Leslie A (2008). Diet of the Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. J. Herpetol. 42:361-368.
Crossref

 
 

Whitaker R, Whitaker N (2007). African Parks (Ethiopia) Nech SAR National Park Project Sustainable use of the Lake Chamo Nile crocodile population project document, Addis Ababa.

 
 

Zisadza-Gandiwa P, Gandiwa E, Jakarasi J, Westhuizen H, Muvengwi J (2013). Abundance, distribution and population trends of Nile crocodile, Crocodylus niloticus, in Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Water SA. 39(1):165-169.

 

 


APA Adugna, C., Kiros, S., Dejene, T., Asmelash, T., & Hadgu, K. M. (2017). Distribution and habitat suitability of Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus, L. 1768) in Tekeze River Dam, Tigray, Ethiopia. International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, 9(12), 350-362.
Chicago Chala Adugna, Solomon Kiros, Tadesse Dejene, Tsehaye Asmelash and Kiros M. Hadgu. "Distribution and habitat suitability of Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus, L. 1768) in Tekeze River Dam, Tigray, Ethiopia." International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 9, no. 12 (2017): 350-362.
MLA Chala Adugna, et al. "Distribution and habitat suitability of Nile crocodile (Crocodilus niloticus, L. 1768) in Tekeze River Dam, Tigray, Ethiopia." International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 9.12 (2017): 350-362.
   
DOI 10.5897/IJBC2017.1119
URL http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/IJBC/article-abstract/3C0080666713

Subscription Form