MISSION 8 OF 2010
Name of Mission: Crocodile Count 3 of 2010 – Lake St Lucia, KZN
Date of Mission: 20th March 2010
Flight Requestor: Xander Combrink
Pilots: Donovan Barton-Hobs
Objective of the Flight:
To regularly (ideally every month) monitor the number and distribution of crocodiles in Lake St Lucia and to note how changes in the broad distribution pattern relates to environmental or other population processes (e.g. courtship, mating, salinity etc.) in the lake. The survey is also part of the mark-resight programme to determine population dynamics through the re-sighting of colour coded tail tags of individual crocodiles.
Passenger’s story of the mission : By XANDER COMBRINK
We counted 193 crocodiles in total. Although a large part of the standard route was surveyed, we had to terminate the count prematurely due to electrical problems with the airplane. The main concentrations of crocodiles are still in the Narrows, eastern Catalina Bay and Lake Bhangazi South. A few crocodiles have been recorded at Dead Tree Bay, Ndhlozi Pan and in the top north eastern part of the lake; but for the first time no crocodiles were counted at Tewati Bay, although it’s likely that a few were present, but undetected.