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Determination of prey base and prey preference of marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) by scat analysis in selected villages of Anand district, Gujarat, India

Author Affiliations

  • 1V.P. & R.P.T.P. Science College, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat, India
  • 2V.P. & R.P.T.P. Science College, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand, Gujarat, India

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 10, Issue (3), Pages 12-18, August,10 (2021)


Crocodylus palustris is distributed throughout Indian subcontinent. Wetlands of Charotar region possess healthy population of marsh crocodiles which are also being utilized by humans. As a result, peaceful coexistence can be seen in the villages of Charotar where villagers are living in the harmony with mugger crocodiles. Understanding the feeding preference and prey base of the threatened species like crocodiles plays a vital role in wildlife conservation for the well-being of wild animals as well as people who share the place with thems. This study was initiated to understand prey base as well as prey preference of the Marsh crocodile by non-invasive method which is scat analysis. Fieldwork was carried out from March 2018 to March 2020. Total 556 faecal samples were taken and identified by direct (presence of animal) and indirect (pug mark and body scale mark) signs as well as with the help of local people from four villages of Anand district. Undigested materials from the scat such as mammalian hair, feathers of the birds, insect remains and scales of fish mounted on slides, observed under microscope and characterized with the help of reference keys. The present study provides details of the food habits of adult and sub-adult crocodiles as well as effects of seasonal changes on the food habit of the animal. Moreover, this study also provides a general picture of predator-prey relationship which is one of the important inter species interactions.


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