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DCM Surfaces

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA)

Friends of Wildlife Management

Innovative Tech Meets Ancient Reptiles

Understanding animal behavior and habitat use is crucial for long-term strategic effective management and protection. One of the most intriguing and challenging species to study is the Nile crocodile, an ancient reptile not often the focus of other NGOs. WeWild Africa understands the importance of these scaly predators to the aquatic ecosystem. To gain deeper insights into their secretive lives, we turn to modern technology: GPS tagging.

The Purpose of GPS Tagging Crocodiles:

GPS tagging involves attaching a small, sophisticated GPS device to a crocodile. This device records the animal’s location at regular intervals, providing data on its movements, habitat preferences, and territorial range. The primary objectives of GPS tagging crocodiles are:

Monitoring Movements

Understanding the spatial ecology of crocodiles, including their migration patterns, territorial behaviors, and if applicable, rewilding success.

Habitat Conservation

Identifying aquatic habitats for protection and management.

Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation

Tracking crocodiles that may pose risks to human communities, thus aiding in conflict prevention.

Research and Education

Gathering data for scientific research and educating the public about crocodile behavior and conservation needs.

The Process of Tagging

Tagging a crocodile is a meticulous and challenging process, requiring a team of experienced wildlife biologists and veterinarians. The steps typically involve:

Capturing the Crocodile

Techniques may include baited traps or noose poles.

Health Check

Once captured, the crocodile may be sedated for its safety and that of the team. A health check is conducted to ensure the animal is fit for tagging.

Attaching the GPS Device

The GPS tag is securely attached to the crocodile’s back, where it will not impede movement or cause discomfort.

Release and Monitoring

The crocodile is released back into its habitat, or a new habitat, and its movements are monitored remotely via the GPS data transmitted.

Challenges and Considerations

While GPS tagging offers valuable data, it comes with challenges:

Ethical Considerations

Ensuring the welfare of the animal during capture, tagging, and release.

Environmental Factors

Tags must be durable enough to withstand harsh aquatic environments.

Data Management

Handling and interpreting the vast amount of data collected.

Join us in our conservation efforts and get involved in supporting projecting like GPS tagging of crocodiles. We cannot do it without you. A special thank you to DCM Surfaces, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks agency, and Friends of Wildlife Management in their continued collaboration in conservation projects around Africa.


How You Can Help

The work carried out by WeWild Africa is only possible with the support of individual donors like yourself. You can join us and help us to rescue wildlife, rewild animals, and restore landscapes. 


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