Published On: Wed, Aug 27th, 2014

The Crocodile: Top of the Foodchain but an Endangered species in Cozumel

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The Cozumel mangroves are home to different species of animals and plants, which is why the place is recognized by the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) as the Mexican island  rich in the quantity of amphibians and reptiles.

At the top of the food chain of the island lies the “Crocodile Acutus”, otherwise known as the American Crocodile. This crocodile is on the endangered list in most of America.  In Mexico, it is the subject of special protection. Despite being at the top of the food chain, Acutus reptiles are malnourished.

The Foundation of Cozumel Parks and Museums (FPMC) said in a report on the Colombia Lagoon, part of the nature reserve of Punta Sur, that there are about 400 crocodiles that live in the coastal lagoons of the island and the mangrove areas.

In the tours that are offered to tourists across the lagoon, you can see them regularly sunbathing, as it is at night when they hunt their food, the reason why they have become a tourist attraction.

“Crocodile Acutus”

“Crocodile Acutus”

In December 2012, management personnel of the Conservation and Environmental Education (CEA) of FPMC found that adult specimens of this species showed a high degree of malnutrition. The CEA, supported by a wildlife specialist from “Africam Safari”, conducted sampling of tissue and blood of animals that live in the lagoon to determine the causes, however, the findings were never released.

CONABIO notes that the states where these reptiles are most at risk are Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Guerrero, Colima, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit and Sinaloa.


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