Cuban Crocodile ........

jdmphotography

CAMBRIDGESHIRE, United Kingdom

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Images taken in Cuba ……….

The Cuban Crocodile is a small species (2.4 meters average length) of crocodile found only in Cuba’s Zapata Swamp and the Isla de Juventud, and highly endangered, though it formerly ranged throughout the Caribbean.

This species has numerous interesting characteristics that set it apart from other crocodilians, such as its brighter adult colors, rougher, more ‘pebbled’ scales, and long, strong legs. This species is the most terrestrial of crocodiles, and also possibly the most intelligent. A colony of this species at Gatorland, Florida has also exhibited what is strongly suspected to be pack-hunting behavior, which has prompted much interest in the species, usually kept singly and especially so after such reports.

The Cuban crocodile has the smallest range of any crocodile. It can be found only in Cuba in the Zapata Swamp in the northwest and in the Lanier Swamp on Isla de Juventud. The historical range also included the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas. The Cuban Crocodile appears to favor freshwater habitat such as swamps, marshes, and rivers and rarely swims in saltwater

The Cuban Crocodile is an endangered species, listed on CITES appendix 1. Its restricted habitat and range make it very vulnerable. The Cuban Crocodile’s main threat is humans, who have hunted the crocodile extensively and have largely encroached upon their habitats. There is still much research to be done on the remaining wild populations of the Cuban Crocodile. The Cuban Crocodile is represented in captivity in the United States, where breeding projects are taking place. Hybridization has been morphologically and genetically detected in captive populations between male American crocodiles and female Cuban crocodiles. This can pose a problem to the genetic purity of the breeding stock in captivity.Today, 3,000 to 6,000 Cuban crocodiles are estimated to live in the wild in a 300-square-kilometre (120 sq mi) section of the southwestern part of the swamp. Because much information on the ecology and natural history of the Cuban Crocodile is still unknown, work needs to be done to increase and protect the remaining wild population.

“Cuban Crocodile ……..” was featured in Bits and Pieces

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