Collaborative Research: Bioacoustics and Behavior of American Crocodile in Belize

Project Info

Project Description

In collaboration with the CRC, Miriam Boucher completed a study of the acoustics and behavior of American crocodiles in Belize as her Masters thesis at West Virginia University. Miriam recorded crocodile distress calls to build and  acoustic profile of American crocodiles and analyze distress call production across a gradient of human environmental disturbance. Her findings determined that the parameters of American crocodile distress calls change as a crocodile grows in size while the structure of the call remains the same. She also determined that crocodiles produced distress calls more frequently at sites with higher human activity and environmental disturbance. In addition to acoustics, she also compiled behavioral observation  to determine adult crocodile time-activity budgets and behavioral trends and compare them among locations of differing environmental disturbance. Through this research she is working to better understand the impacts of human development and contact on crocodile acoustics and behavior and explore new avenues for applied management using acoustics.  Aspects of this project are being continued by the CRC the continue to investigate how human activities impact the ecology and behavior of crocodiles in the wild.

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