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  • Mexico Brings Crocodile Back from the Brink

  • Classified as endangered in the 1970's, the Crocodylus moreletii is once again at sustainable levels

, Photo: CONANP /Cuartoscuro

03 of August 2016 16:47:50

MEXICO CITY -- The crocodylus moreletii crocodile is out of danger of extinction, allowing specialists to analyze the possibilities of integrating it into a scheme of sustainable use, explained the director general of the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Conabio), Hesiquio Díaz Benítez.Inaugurating the workshop review of results and progress on the monitoring of crocodile swamps and preparations for the Conference of Parties 17 to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CoP17 to CITES) this year, Díaz Benítez highlighted the importance of this result following the categorization of all crocodiles in Mexico as endangered during the 1970's.As a result of that 1970's categorization, he explained, measures were taken to to ensure the protection of this crocodile, which led to its inclusion on the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).He mentioned that in the case of Mexico, the crocodile was included in government regulation as a species under special protection, which led to their recovery. After 2010 the species was taken out danger of extinction by CITES.Protection and monitoring schemes were developed in Mexico that have enabled a standardized database that is now five years old and makes use of at least 50 key sampling points in four different regions.The population, which currently reaches consist of 76,000 individual crocodiles, places the specimen as 'in good condition' with the potential to develop into full sustainability.Benítez Díaz stressed that the above becomes important when one considers that international trade in crocodile skins from Mexico is close to two thousand per year from hatcheries alone.However, the country imports up to 318,000 skins, which could be reversed if the potential of farming and ranching methods developed in the country is taken advantage of.He said that under natural conditions, about 90 percent of the eggs are lost during the incubation process; however, with proper care, up to 80 percent of the offspring are guaranteed to be born.These events have culminated in the coming workshop, which will take place on 3 and 4 August, in order to define a pilot protocol for initiating a process of sustainable use of crocodiles that will benefit all of the Mexican population.Given the proximity of the CoP17 to CITES, to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from September 24 to October 5, Conabio seeks to propose an amendment to the zero quota export of wild specimens currently in force.This will be addressed along with other points in the framework of this workshop. The results could be beneficial for a large segment of the Mexican population living in the southeast zone of the country, home to the Crocodylus moreletii. 

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