diet, experiment, juveniles, growth, husbandry, survival.
Objective: To evaluate the effect of different stocking densities:12 (D12), 18 (D18) and 24 (D24) individuals m-2 (ind m-2) on growth (weight and length) and survival in juvenile river crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus).
Design/methodology/approach: The crocodiles were cultured in each treatment by triplicate for 43-d in nine plastic tanks and fed a diet based on a mix of beef liver, fish and commercial dog food.
Results: At the end of the experiment, there were not significant differences among treatments in the growth variables, recording a low increment in weight and total length (38.99 ± 8.96 g and 4.19 ± 1.36 cm; mean ± SD) in all densities as well as overall survival of 62.02 ± 7.67% (mean ± SD). The stocking density of 24 ind m-2 was significantly higher in biomass production by m2 for the stocking densities of 18 and 12 individuals (p < 0.05).
Limitations on study/implications: The development of culture techniques is a tool to assess the potential of this ecologically important species for its conservation and eventual commercialization.
Findings/conclusions: It can be recommended a stocking density of 24 ind m-2 (D24) to optimize the use of space and infrastructure profitability