Molecular assessment of the saltwater crocodile on Palau (Past)

We have concluded a molecular assay on blood and tissue samples of the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, indigenous to the Republic of Palau. The objectives of this study were to determine: 1) if the Palauan crocodile population is composed of one or more separate species, 2) if the population reflects the genetic influence of crocodilian species other than Crocodylus porosus, which may, inadvertently, have been introduced into the population, and 3) the genetic and morphological characterization of Palauan crocodilians. These samples were used in conjunction with blood, skin and bone samples from other crocodilian species that may have been introduced into the population prior to WWII. These include the Siamese crocodile, Crocodylus siamensis; the Philippine crocodile, Crocodylus mindorensis; and the New Guinea crocodile, Crocodylus novaeguineae. Scalation morphology of Palauan crocodilians was also characterized. This project was a collaboration with Michael Russello, Gregory Watkins-Colwell, J. Gratten, and P. Braziatis, and several Yale undergraduates.

Publication: Russello M.A., P. Brazaitis, J. Gratten, G.J. Watkins-Colwell, and A. Caccone. 2006. Molecular assessment of the genetic integrity, distinctiveness and phylogeographic context of the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) on Palau. Conservation Genetics, 8: 777-787.