crocodile glued fieldwork failed

fieldworkfail interview
3 questions to Agata:

Can you explain what was your job about and why did you need to glue crocodiles ? 🙂

It was part of the research for my MSc in Biology – I’m now about to start a PhD. We were trying to find out the range size of crocodiles in Indonesian Borneo. It lets us know the habitat range the crocodiles need, and how they might interact with other species in the area (including other crocodile species).

crocodile zone GPS

What happened after the hand glued ?

10 minutes of me detatching my finger from the crocodile without detaching the transmitter while the fishermen watched and laughed.

crocodile laugh fisherman

Then the croc lost the transmitter within 24 hours 🙁


Isn’it dangerous to glue things on crocodiles by hand ?

I suppose it is, especially if you’re not very good with handling the glue. I first catch the crocodiles and make sure their mouths are closed and secured (usually with tape or in case of a smaller croc, a rubber band). I also cover their eyes to reduce the stress experienced by the animal.

Someone also needs to hold the croc down (or sometimes sit on it, when it’s bigger) to make sure it doesn’t thrash around or roll. The crocs aren’t sedated or sleeping, so we just need to take all the measurements, mark the crocs and attach the transmitters as quickly as possible.

crocodile manutention

Are crocodiles in danger in Borneo ?

Some of them for sure. The two species I worked on, Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis) and Sunda gharials (Tomistoma schlegelii) are Critically Endangered and Vulnerable, respectively.

Thanks Agata!