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Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Life in Managed Care

Current Population Size

  • North American Zoological Collections
    • O. tetraspis
      • 63 individuals, as of 2012 (from Vliet et al. 2012)
      • 15 males, 24 females, and 24 indeterminate
      • Housed in 24 institutions
    • O. t. osborni
      • No definitive records of Congo Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis osborni) in North America (Trutnae and Sommerlad 2006; ZIMS 2015)
  • European Zoological Collections
    • 187 individuals, as of 2013 (from Schmidt 2013)
      • 58 males, 68 females, 61 indeterminate
      • 62.6% bred in managed care(23 males, 34 females, 60 indeterminate)
    • O. t. osborni (Schmidt 2013, Franke et al. 2013)
      • One male from Santillana Zoo, Spain
    • O. t. tetraspis (Schmidt 2013)
      • 38 males, 36 females, 46 indeterminate (44 institutions)
    • West African form (Schmidt 2013)
      • 7 males, 11 females
    • Hybrid individuals
      • 9 males, 14 females, 14 indeterminate (21 institutions)
    • Individuals untested for genetic differentiation
      • 3 males, 7 females, 1 indeterminate (7 institutions)

San Diego Zoo Global

  • Current population
    • San Diego Zoo
      • 5 individuals housed at the zoo, as of February 2015 (from ZIMS 2015)
        • 4 females and 1 male

Managed Care History

History in Managed Care

  • Historical notes
    • Early records (from ZIMS 2015)
      • 1908: first individual, a female, housed at the Philadelphia Zoo
    • Managed breeding (from Trutnae and Sommerlad 2006; ZIMS 2015)
      • Rare prior to 1970
        • Several institutions began successful breeding programs in the 1970s and 1980s
          • Ueno Zoo, Tokyo
          • Fort Worth Zoo, Texas
          • Metropolitan Toronto Zoo, Toronto
          • Overton Park Zoo, Memphis (TN)

Dwarf Crocodile

dwarf crocodile at a zoo

West African Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis), Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. Image credit: © Ryan Poplin at Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Page Citations

Franke et al. (2013)
Schmidt (2013)
Trutnae and Sommerlad (2006)
Vliet et al. (2012)
ZIMS (2015)

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