Mugger Crocodile
Crocodylus Palustris

Mugger CrocodileSynonyms: Marsh Crocodile, Swamp Crocodile, Mugger, Broad-snouted Crocodile

Distribution: India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran

Habitat: Rivers, Lakes, Wetlands, Irrigation Canals, Mud Canals

Behavior: Muggers are highly social and their social behavior includes gregarious behavior, communication, territorial activities, and dominance interactions. Between adults and also adults and their young there is many vocalizations. Most of the socializing take place during the seasonal mating activities. Body postures like snout raising and tail thrashing are used by males when establishing territories and trying to gain dominance before courtship and mating. Like other crocodile species, activities include basking, diving, and swimming. In addition, a unique and important activity is burrowing. Burrows are used for thermoregulation during hot and cold periods of the day. These crocodiles leave their tunnels at night to seek food. This species can migrate over land in search of new territory, and they can chase prey for short distances on land. They are adapted better than most other crocodiles to life on land.

Food: Primarily carnivorous, eating mostly fish, frogs, turtles, mammals, birds. Also scavenge on dead animals.

Mating and Reproduction: Mugger crocodiles exhibit a polygynous mating system, in which one male mates with more than one female. Breeding is from February to April. This species is a hole-nesting one. Once a female finds a suitable place for digging her nesting hole, she usually uses it for most if not all of her nests over the years. About one month after mating, 10-48 eggs are laid into the nesting hole, with the average clutch size being 28. Muggers sometimes lay two clutches a year in captivity, but it is not known what happens in the wild. Incubation is for 55-75 days. On hatching, the eggs are carried to nearby water by the mother or sometimes the father. Young crocodiles stay in loosely organized groups along with the adults for as long as one year before dispersing.

Population: According to the IUCN Red List, the total mugger crocodile population size is around 5,700-8,700 mature individuals. Specific populations have been estimated in these areas: 3,021 to 4,287 mature individuals in India; 200-300 individuals in Iran; around 600 individuals in Pakistan, with more than 150 individuals are held in captivity; 200 wild individuals in Nepal; and around 2,400-3,500 wild individuals in Sri Lanka. Overall, currently, mugger crocodiles are classified as Vulnerable (VU), but their numbers today remain stable.

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