An American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) Survey of the Proposed Bacalar Chico National Park, Ambergris Cay, Belize

Platt, Steven G. (1995) An American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) Survey of the Proposed Bacalar Chico National Park, Ambergris Cay, Belize. Technical Report. (Submitted)

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    Thc status of the Americar crocodile (CrocodvIus auflIs) in Belize is poorly known and survey data are currently lacking. Surveys of the American crocodile in Bclize have been accordcd high priority by the II.JCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (Thorbjamarson 1992). Neill and Allen (1961) reported the collection of a juvenile American crocodile in a mangrove swamp in Belize City. Powell (1971) stated American crocodiles wcre common on some offshore cays but extinct on the mainland. Abercrombie et al. (1980) and Plan and Montanucci (1993) found no American crocodiles in surveys of iniand Waters. Meerman (1992; 1993) reported chat the species is present on Cay Caulker and rare in Lhc coastal lagoons of Shipscem Nature Reserve. The largest remaining population of American crocodiles in Belize may occur in the Turneffe Atoll (Thorbjamarson 1992; Plan 1994). Additional reports by fishermen and others suggest that populations of American crocodiles may occur widely on offshore islands throughout the coastal zone of Belize. Distributional records are summarized in Table 1 of PlatI 1994. Perkins (1983) estimated a countrywide population as high as 10,000 to 20,000 animals. The Bacalar Chico region (Figure 1) of northern Ambergris Cay has recently been proposed as a National Park. This area encompasses significant terrestrial, mangrove, and marine habitats (Dotherow 1995). little information is available concerning the distribution or status of the Amcncan crocodile in this region. Five crocodiles and tracks were noted in a preliminary survey (Smith in Dotherow 1995) suggesting the presence of a larger population. The objective of this project was to determine the status of the American crocodile in the proposed Bacalar Chico National Park, and provide conservation recommendations based on these findings.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
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      Keywords: american crocodile, Bacalar Chico, National Park,
      Subjects: (A) Biodiversity > (AI) Reptiles > (AIB) Marine
      (H) Protected Areas > (HE) National Park
      Publication Sources: (3) Other Source > (3C) Other Universities
      Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2011 13:38
      Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 13:38

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