Where Do Crocodiles Live in the Wild – Crocodile Habitat and Distribution

Get ready for the most exciting facts about where do crocodiles live in the wild and how they are widely distributed.  Crocodile (Crocodylinae) is a large reptile that speaks high of its furious and uncompromising nature when it comes to potential predators. They occupy a wide range of habitats and have cosmopolitan distribution throughout Africa, Americas, Australia, and Asia. Crocodiles predominantly exist in shoreline habitats, and would rather live in shallow and deep waters. Apart from human encroachments, there are some micro-environmental features that do influence the crocodile distribution. The population density, population size-class and crocodile size plays a vital role in defining the overall patterns of crocodiles’ habitats.

Where Do Crocodiles Live in the Wild

Where Do American Crocodiles Live

Habitat and Distribution

American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is the most common crocodilian species inhabiting America. It is known to occupy diverse habitats including river mouths, mangrove swamps, salt lakes, and fresh waters. It is abundant in the southern Florida, southern Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Columbia, Ecuador, and Greater Antilles. Many of these species are found in Costa Rica, in Ypersaline Lake, Lago Enriquillo, in the Dominican Republic, with few of them inhabits Jamaica.

American crocodiles have just been noticed in Grand Cayman, which means that it might swam from Cuba to these waters. Besides, scientists have also discovered a Cuban crocodile hybrid in the Cancun region. Some experts believe that the presence of American Alligators in the brackish waters (north of Florida) makes American crocodiles redundant which is not quite true; it is the climate that exterminates crocs from these waters and not the alligators. American crocs, however, share some of the common traits with American alligators in that both species are vulnerable to cold temperatures and inhabit exclusively in tropical regions. The intense cold in 2009 in southern Florida led 150 American Crocodiles to death. It is because of this reason that both these species can coexist in United States but they predominantly live in Florida Bay, Florida Keys, Everglades National Park, Miami southward, and Biscayne Bay. A handful number of crocs also live in Florida, Homestead, in the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station. Some animals swim towards warm waters in the Palm Beach County and Sarasota County.

Crocodiles demand steady temperatures in the tropical waters which is why their numbers are limited in southern United States. They can also withstand water containing high salt contents.

where do crocodiles live
Credit: www.neogaf.com

Where Do Orinoco Crocodiles Live

The Orinoco crocodiles have limited distribution and habitats as they are only found in the Orinoco River basin in Venezuela and Columbia. Some of these species are also sighted in the island of Trinidad and they are often confused with American crocodiles. Previously, it was believed to occupy diverse habitats ranging from riparian habitats including tropical forests to the streams of Andes foothills. Presently, they inhabit Llanos savannah and allied with seasonal freshwater rivers. No more than 547 individuals are surviving today and they are considered critically endangered species.

Where Do Freshwater Crocodiles Live

(Where do Crocodiles Live)

Freshwater crocodiles inhabit the states of Queensland, Northern Territory, and Western Australia. They mainly build their habitats in rivers, creeks, wetlands, and billabongs. They can survive in waters where saltwater crocs cannot such as they are likely to live in Kakadu National Park, under dry rocky conditions. Many of these species inhabit Katherine Gorge since they do not come in direct conflict with saltwater crocodiles in these regions.

Where Do Philippine Crocodiles Live

The Philippine crocodiles are no longer found in Jolo, Negros Island, Masbate, Basuanga, and Samar. Some of the species, however, live in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, Babuyan Islands, San Mariano, Abra (province), Isabela, and Dalupiri Island.

Where Do Morelet’s Crocodiles Live

Morlete crocodiles are known to reside in freshwater habitats in Central America extending towards Gulf of Mexico, Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize. They fancy living in isolated places which are secluded. Their habitats are found in freshwater marshes, swamps, in lakes, and in rivers. A handful number of species also exist in brackish waters but these habitats are considerably different from that of freshwater habitats. Morlete crocodile also dwell in the grassy savannas in Yucatan Peninsula. They do not like rain or flooding seasons since they have to move elsewhere. The young are protected in dense cover from potential predators and they do not expose themselves unless become adults. The territory of these species often overlaps with that of American crocodiles.

Where Do Nile Crocodiles Live

(Where do Crocodiles Live)

Nile crocodiles are widespread all throughout Africa and they have a wider historic range. They occupy a wide range of Mediterranean coast in Nile delta, alongside Uganda, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, Gabon, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, South Africa, South Sudan, Cameroon, Botswana, Malawi, and Sudan. Distinct populations are also found in Madagascar and Senegal. Some of them are also sighted in Zarqa River (Jordan) and Lake Moeris. They became extinct in Seychelles in the 19th century. Nile crocodiles are widely distributed throughout Lake Chad, Cunene, Senegal River, and Okavango Delta. They inhabited the southern and western parts of Sembirano to Port Dauphin. Seldom do they exist in the Comoros and Zanzibar.

While in East Africa, they live in marshes, dams, rivers, and lakes. Some of them have adapted to dwelling in caves.

Where Do New Guinea Crocodiles Live

The New Guinea Crocodile predominantly exists in freshwater (Crocodylus novaeguineae) swamps alongside lakes, specifically in the interior. It can tolerate saltwater but is not commonly found in brackish coastal waters.

Where Do Mugger Crocodiles Live

The mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) is an Asian species and is commonly found in the waters of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the southern tip of Iran. Some of the species also exist in Southern Iraq. It is the only crocodile being found in Pakistan and Iran. It is abundant in India and has outnumbered even large crocodiles like saltwater crocodile throughout India.

Two to three decades before, the largest concentration of mugger crocodiles exist in South India (in Amaravathi Reservoir) and Tamil Nadu. The Amaravathi Reservoir being the largest industry in India accommodates 60 adults and 37 young. In Pakistan, around 400 to 450 individuals exist in rivers and the coastal waters of Baluchistan and Sindh. The Makran coast above Chabahar, houses 200 mugger crocodiles which are native to Bahu Kalat River, Sarbaz River, Pishin river basins, and Kaju in Baluchistan. Sadly speaking, they were forced to leave their native habitats in 1990s and 2000s due to drought. They are becoming extinct in this range.

It is a freshwater crocodile that prefers to live in marshes, rivers, and lakes. It chooses slow-moving water instead of fast-flowing deep sea waters. They are also found in man-made reservoirs and irrigation canals. It is known to migrate great distances in pursuit of suitable habitats. It chases a prey on land for short distances. The mugger crocodile is a close relative of Cuban crocodile.

credit: www.thelovelyplanet.net
credit: www.thelovelyplanet.net

Where Do Saltwater Crocodiles Live

(Where do Crocodiles Live)

The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is widespread throughout India but not as abundant as mugger crocodile. These narrow-snouted gharials rarely exist in the Indian Subcontinent and eastern coast of India. The largest population, however, is found in the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary (Odisha) but is found in less numbers in the Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh.

Apart from India, saltwater crocodile also occupies the Northern Australia embracing Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia. In these places, you may commonly find large crocodilian species thriving in the waters of Daly, Adelaide, and Mary Rivers. Australia alone houses 100,000 to 200,000 saltwater crocodiles. They are distributed all the way from Northern Territory to the south of Rockhampton in Queensland. They cover virtually all the major habitats ranging from estuaries to the mangroves. Their range tends to become overlap with that of New Guinea crocodiles. Besides, they are also found in Aru Islands, Bismarck Archipelago, Maluku Islands, and Kai Islands.

The saltwater crocodile was once widespread all throughout south-east Asia but is now extinct in this range. It is believed to go extinct in much of its habitats in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, Vietnam. It is critically endangered in Myanmar but is relatively stable in Irrawaddy Delta. They also disappeared from Mekong Delta in the 1980s. In Malaysia and Indonesia, the population is erratic. Not a single individual is now found in Bali, komodo, and Lombok. Only a handful number of crocodiles exist in Ujung Kulon National Park in western Java.

For the reason that saltwater crocodiles generally travel great distances they rarely show up in regions farther from their typical range. Nomadic species are sighted in Iwo Jima, Fiji, and New Caledonia. They are known to migrate towards southern tip from northern Queensland in the warmer days. During wet season, however, they spend most of their time in freshwater swamps including rivers and other tropical waters. The males are highly dominant and they fiercely occupy territories.

Where Do West African Crocodiles Live

The west African crocodile (Crocodylus suchus), also known as desert crocodile, is  found in Senegal, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Benin, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Gambia, and Central African Republic.

Where Do Siamese Crocodiles Live

The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) lives in much of the habitats in Southeast Asia. They have gone extinct in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Burma, and Brunei. Their habitats are found in freshwaters like lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, swamplands, and oxbow lakes.

Where Do Cuban Crocodiles Live

The Cuban crocodiles survive in the waters of Isle of Youth and Cuba’s Zapata Swamp but only in limited numbers. Previously, it existed in the Caribbean and the Cayman Islands. They seem to favor freshwater habitats such as marshes, rivers, and swamps.

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