Population status of Moreletís Crocodile in the Chiquibul Forest, Belize

Moreletís Crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) is a medium-sized crocodylian found from Tamaulipas, Mexico, southward to Belize and Guatemala. Once propelled to the brink of extinction by overharvesting and poaching, protective measures for its conservation have allowed populations in certain areas to recover. Information on the status of this species in southern Belize was lacking, and the following article describes a monitoring survey conducted in Chiquibul Forest, Cayo District, Belize.

Chiquibul Forest, located in the southwestern region of Belize is home to various endemic flora and endangered species such as jaguars, scarlet macaws, and tapir, and encompasses the largest cave system in Central America. The 1st in-depth scientific study of the unique population of Morelet's crocodiles within Chiquibul Forest, led by the CRC, is now published- so what's part of the take home message?

"In summary, the population of Crocodylus moreletii (Morelet's crocodiles) in Chiquibul Forest appears to be stable in a relatively healthy environment. Presumably, future research and annual surveys will provide significant data for the local conservation and management of this unique population, especially since it likely represents one of the few remaining genetically pure populations of C. moreletii in Belize."

We look forward to continue to work with Friends for Conservation and Development, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand from BWRC, and Shawn Heflick from Croc U to continue the studies and conservation of this unique crocodile population here in Belize.

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