Rehabilitate and release injured or accidentally caught individuals: Crocodilians

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
    not assessed
  • Certainty
    not assessed
  • Harms
    not assessed

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects of rehabilitating and releasing injured or accidentally caught crocodilians on their populations. This study was in India.



  • Reproductive success (1 study): One study in India found that found that breeding occurred in a rehabilitated and released population of mugger crocodiles four years after the first release.
  • Survival (1 study): One study in India found that seven of eight rehabilitated and released mugger crocodiles survived for at least 1–4 years after release.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A study in 1977–1981 in a river with a series of pools in Andhra Pradesh, India (Choudhury & Bustard 1982) found that accidentally captured mugger crocodiles Crocodylus palustris that were raised in captivity before being released survived for at least 1-4 years following release. At least seven of eight released crocodiles survived for at least 1–4 years after release. All crocodiles were re-sighted at the release site, or within 100–3,000 m away. Authors reported that the first breeding took place four years after the first release. In 1977–1980, eight mugger crocodiles (5 females and 3 males) were released following rearing in captivity. Crocodiles were between 1.1–1.9 m in length at the time of release. Prior to the release, grazing of cattle and goats along the river bank, fishing and use of the area for swimming and bathing were banned. After release, crocodiles were monitored by both research staff and by staff who were there to protect the release site.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Sainsbury K.A., Morgan W.H., Watson M., Rotem G., Bouskila A., Smith R.K. & Sutherland W.J. (2021) Reptile Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for reptiles. Conservation Evidence Series Synopsis. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

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Reptile Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Reptile Conservation
Reptile Conservation

Reptile Conservation - Published 2021

Reptile synopsis

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