Cozumel, Q.R. — The Cozumel Parks and Museums Foundation (FPMC) says they have recorded the breeding of an American crocodile in the Punta Sur Ecotourism Park.
The successful breeding reflects the healthy state of conservation of the Ecological Reserve, José Luis Chacón Méndez, the General Director of the FPMC reported. The breeding was recorded in Laguna Colombia which has allowed the reproduction and expansion of the population of these reptiles in wildlife, he said.
Chacón Méndez says they work to protect and preserve crocodiles and their habitat in Punta Sur, which includes environmental education, surveillance, monitoring and research programs.
He added that it is important to protect American crocodiles because they are listed in NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010 as a species at risk.
Héctor González Cortés, the Deputy Director of Punta Sur, reported that American crocodiles, also known as the largest predators of the Cozumel wetlands, have an annual reproductive cycle and locate their nests mainly in high areas in the wetland and coastal dune.
He explained that the incubation period is approximately three months and after hatching they can be occasionally observed in various sectors of Punta Sur. He explained that the survival rate of baby crocodiles is higher in the protected areas of the island such as Punta Sur.
However, in various habitats, the causes of mortality of this and other species are mainly due to predation by adult crocodiles, birds, mammals and other reptiles as well as poor physical condition and sudden environmental changes.
This small crocodile was spotted in the area of the observation tower by students from the Plantel Cozumel High School who were participating in a nature interpretation program in Laguna X’tacún. The small reptile was named Cobi by the students.