Crocodile Habitat

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POPULATION DENSITY AND HABITAT PREFERENCE OF MECISTOPS CATAPHRACTUS IN THE OBUASI MUNICIPALITY INTRODUCTION Crocodiles are charismatic megafauna that act as a keystone species and often have served as indicators in ecosystem monitoring and restoration programmes. They maintain structure and function in aquatic ecosystems by such ecological roles as selective predation on fish species, recycling of nutrients and maintenance of wet refugia (Ross 1998; Mazzotti et al 2007). They are widely considered as flagship conservations pecies and have the potential to stimulate efforts in wetland conservation. Three species are native to West Africa: the West African Crocodile (Crocodylus suchus), the West African slender-snouted crocodile (Mecistops cataphractus),…show more content…
The results of this study would form a baseline habitat suitability map of Mecistops cataphractus within the Jimi River system which can serve as the basis for a long term Mecistops cataphractus monitoring program and provide general information about the influence of anthropogenic factors on crocodile distribution that could be useful for crocodile management in other regions. Specific Objectives: 1. Determine Mecistops cataphractus population in the Obuasi…show more content…
Assess the influence of selected water quality parameters on Mecistops cataphractus distribution. 3. Assess the influence of habitat encroachment on Mecistops cataphractus distribution. Materials and Methods: Study Area: The study would be carried out in the Obuasi municipality. The Obuasi Municipality is located in the southern part of the Ashanti Region between latitude 5.35 and 5.65 N and longitude 6.35 and 6.90 N covering a land area of 162.4 km2 within the moist semi deciduous forest zone of Ghana. The topography is characterized as undulating due to the hilly nature of its environment. The vegetation consists of limited species of hardwood which is harvested as lumber mostly by illegal chainsaw operators. It is particularly known for alluvial gold mining activities. The climate is characteristic of the semi-equatorial climate with a double rainfall regime. Obuasi experiences a mean annual rainfall of 125 – 175 mm with an average annual temperature of 25.5°C and relative humidity between 75 and 80% in the wet season (Antwi-Agyei et al., 2009). The Obuasi Municipality is drained by the Jimi and Pompo Rivers, which harbour the Critically Endangered Mecistops cataphractus. Data

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