30 JANUARY 2011 1 of 2


MAUBISSE to DILI, DILI DISTRICT, TIMOR-LESTE

 


TIMOR-LESTE REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY
PHASE IV: CROCODILE CONSIDERATIONS

We left Maubisse as the sun burnt through the clouds that hung like veils over the surrounding mountains. Our drive back to Dili would be a short one, only 65 km up, over and down the mountains to the capital BUT... our route took us via Aileu where we planned to recce a crocodile situation.

Saltwater crocodile
Crocodylus porosus
Click on images to enlarge

In 2004 a Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) was deposited in a chain-link fenced enclosure by Portuguese peace-keepers, and now the Timor-Leste Environment Department had asked us to relocate it back into the wild. We had seen the crocodile as we passed through Aileu in 2009 but needed a fresh visit to consider the feasilibilty of capturing it and transporting it to a protected area where it would not represent a threat to human life.

We estimated the crocodile's length at around 3.5 m, easily lured it out of the water onto dry land, and have already put together a plan to capture and relocate it, hopefully during Phase V in mid 2011.

Enroute to Dili we also made two other stops to pick up road-killed Common wolfsnakes (Lycodon capucinus), a very common species on the roads, but we did not delay our journey unduly, after ten nights away the hot showers of the Timor Lodge Hotel were calling us loudly.

Road-killed Common wolfsnakes
Lycodon capucinus

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