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Individual study: Artificial incubation of wild-collected eggs of American andela Orinoco crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus and C. intermedius), Gua-rico and Zulia, Venezu

Published source details

Barros T., Jiménez-Oraá M., Heredia H.J. & Seijas A.E. (2010) Artificial incubation of wild-collected eggs of American and Orinoco crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus and C. intermedius), Gua-rico and Zulia, Venezuela. Conservation Evidence, 7, 111-115

Summary

During 2009, wild eggs of two Venezuelan crocodilians (Orinoco crocodile Crocodylus intermedius and American crocodile C. acutus) were collected and artificially incubated using low-technology methods under basic conditions. Hatch success was 53.7% for C. intermedius eggs, and 65.6% for C. acutus eggs. Overall, 316 hatchlings were obtained from a total of 521 eggs (60.7% hatch success). These results compare favourably with similar artificial incubation trials, but incubation time for C. acutus eggs (87 to 102 days) was rather longer than the typical incubation period for the species (around 82 to 83 days). This may be indicative of a low incubation temperature; if so, most of the hatchlings may have been females. Only as these young mature will their sex be determinable. Hatchlings were taken to captive-rearing facilities where they will be maintained until they reach a suitable size for release into the wild. Participation of local people in this project was considered a very important factor in its success, and had additional conservation benefits including raising public awareness of the plight of crocodile populations and problems of over-exploitation in the study areas.