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Role in the Ecosystem

Whatever you think of them, crocs play an important role in Gorongosa's ecosystem. As the apex predator in our rivers and lakes, it plays an important "stabilizer" role. It keeps the population of predatory fish species in check. If crocs didn't exist in Gorongosa, the number of Barbel catfish would explode and push other fish species to the brink of extinction by overeating them. The entire ecosystem would be thrown off balance and everything in the aquatic food chain would be affected. Predatory birds like pelicans and storks, for example, would have nothing to eat. The aquatic ecosystem would collapse without crocs.

 

Occasionally, crocs get a chance to eat other prey. When dry season comes, thirsty animals must venture close to croc-filled pools to drink. Those that are too slow or too careless don't return. One of the amazing photos above shows a croc capturing a warthog by the Mussicadzi River during dry season in Gorongosa.