Gulf of Mexico: Endemic Crocodile exceeds category of “Endangered Species”

The Morelet Crocodile or Mexican Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) is a species of small alligator distributed in the Gulf of Mexico and spread to Guatemala and Belize.

It is named after the French naturalist Pierre Morelet (1809 – 1892), who scientifically described the species in 1850. Usually grows to about 3 meters in length. It is a species until recently considered endangered.

Currently 80% of the crocodile populations, estimated at just over one hundred thousand, living along the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula, the rest is distributed between Guatemala and Belize.

It was recently removed from the list of threatened or endangered with which Veracruz (Mexico), one of the main producers of the species, may start exporting to the United States.

The fur trade and other moreletti crocodile products was restricted internationally, both the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as in the United States under the Endangered Species Act (“Endangered Species Act-ESA “), 1973.

However, this did not prevent its possible extinction.

The Moreletti crocodile is usually brown with black stripes and spots on the trunk and tail, adults of this species have the mouth wider than the small crocodiles.
It was believed that only living in lakes, freshwater lakes, rivers and other waterways, but also recently found brown crocodile populations in coastal regions, mainly always present in the ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Moreletti crocodile, has been threatened by habitat destruction and poaching. Both factors had reduced their populations. It was hunted for its fur indiscriminately during the years 1940 and 1950, to be used to make purses, coats and shoes.

One of the main protectors of crocodiles today is the CSG (Crocodile Specialist Group) which began its effort in 1971.

This is a worldwide organization of biologists and other professionals who came together to conserve the 23 species of lizards and crocodiles.

The CSG is supposed to control all trade in crocodile skins in general. They help determine if the skins are legal or have been taken illegally. When he started this organization all crocodilian species were threatened or endangered. Today those numbers have changed a lot.

The breeding, hatching and eclosion of crocodiles in protected areas has so far good results, with 87 percent success rate in births, a level that is considered good according to international standards.

The compulsory question is, Do we support those who use goods “in fashion” that involve these species?

This should make us reflect on our own responsibility in the predation of animal species living beings like us who can not raise their voices in protest.

One thing to call attention dear readers, the fact that shows how is possible, that an alleged conservation organization, to support and justify the banal which excuse the use of the skin of this species and granted the power to “control the trade” of these animals.

I don´t know … it’s like to reflect it.

Gustavo Carrasquel | ANCA24


About ANCA24canada

Environmental, Ecologists and Conservationist news from the Americas
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