Body condition of Morelet’s Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from northern Belize

Journal of Herpetology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Body condition factors have been used as an indicator of health and well-being of crocodilians. We evaluated body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) in northern Belize in relation to biotic (size, sex, and habitat) and abiotic (location, water level, and air temperature) factors. We also tested the hypothesis that high water levels and warm temperatures combine or interact to result in a decrease in body condition. Size class, temperature, and water level explained 20% of the variability in condition of Morelet's Crocodiles in this study. We found that adult crocodiles had higher condition scores than juveniles/subadults but that sex, habitat, and site had no effect. We confirmed our hypothesis that warm temperatures and high water levels interact to decrease body condition. We related body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles to natural fluctuations in air temperatures and water levels in northern Belize, providing baseline conditions for population and ecosystem monitoring.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Body condition of Morelet’s Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from northern Belize
Series title Journal of Herpetology
DOI 10.1670/11-188
Volume 46
Issue 3
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Publisher location http://ssarherps.org/
Contributing office(s) Southeast Ecological Science Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Herpetology
First page 356
Last page 362
Country Belize
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