CREATURE FEATURE: American Crocodile

by mikfein

5 things we can do to help the endangered American Crocodile.

The American Crocodile was officially discovered and documented in 1807 and named Crocodylus acutus. However, many thought the species to be an alligator — after much deliberation it was finally categorized as a crocodile 1822.

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Off the endangered species list

Although the American Crocodile was officially taken off of the endangered list in 2007, and downgraded to a “threatened” species, it remains protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.  Therefore, it is still illegal to “harass, poach or kill” them.

For those of you with a passion for conservationism, ask the people in charge of the Belize resort that you are staying at to direct you to a local chapter of organizations listed below, that are dedicated to helping the American Crocodile remain off of the endangered list.

The crocodiles are in their element within Turneffe Atoll’s thick foliage. As the largest atoll in the western hemisphere, Turneffe comprises nearly 150 islands and is covered in the largest mangrove system in Belize — perfect for the American crocodile.

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Adopt your own Croc

Below, are some exciting activities you can participate in, in order to help this animal while you are in Belize.

1.   Sponsor a crocodile:  By sending a donation of as little as $10/month, you will be helping a rescued, injured and/or abused American Crocodile with first-class vet care such as food, vitamins and medical follow-ups, as well as the maintenance of its natural habitat.
2.   “Adopt-A-Croc”:  For as little as $100 yearly, you are able to adopt your own American Crocodile. You will receive your personalized Adoption Certificate in conjunction with quarterly updates regarding the progress of your crocodile.  You will automatically receive the title of “Croc-Crusader” and receive email updates concerning the latest research available and being conducted, plus information related to your “child”.
3.   The “Rouge-Croc “Benefactor:  Your donation of 5K, or more will provide you with the opportunity to have a habitats/sanctuaries named after you, with your name denoted on a plaque.  Also, you will get to enjoy your very own “Croc Day”, where you may take family and friends for them to become familiarized with the work being performed within your habitat.  For additional benefits refer to ACES, below.
4.   Immediately report to the local authorities anyone that you come across poaching an animal, or if you come across a dead crocodile
5.   Immediately report to the local authorities anyone you come across that is selling the skull, teeth or any other parts of an American Crocodile.

Lastly, you may contact any of the organizations, listed below, to donate money.  Note that all financial donations are tax deductible.

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Known as the Crocodylus acutus

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI):

A Florida-based non-profit organization, which is primarily involved with the conservation and assistance of the American Crocodile in Florida.  Contact them and find out how you may help out American Crocodiles in Belize. http://myfwc.com

Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWNC):

This organization assists in the rehabilitation of crocodiles and release of the American Crocodile which have been harmed, hurt or mistreated, as well as with other animals.  It is a non-profit organization which is able to do great work with financial support via membership fees, sponsorships, grants and fundraisings. http://www.wildlifebelize.com

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