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1 March 2007 American Crocodile (Crocodylus Acutus) in Florida: Recommendations for Endangered Species Recovery and Ecosystem Restoration
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When the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) was declared endangered in 1975, scant data were available for making management decisions. Results of intensive studies conducted during the late 1970s and early 1980s by the National Park Service, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, and Florida Power and Light Company resulted in an optimistic outlook for crocodiles. However, new issues face crocodiles today. Florida and Biscayne bays have undergone changes that have caused concern for the health of these ecosystems. The purpose of this paper is to review results of monitoring programs for C. acutus that have been used as a basis for consideration of reclassification of this endangered species and for restoration of its endangered ecosystem. More crocodiles and nests occur in more places today than in 1975. The maximum number of nesting females in Florida has increased from 20 in 1975 to 85 in 2004, and the number of concentrations of nesting effort from two to four. This evidence supports the proposed reclassification of the American Crocodile from endangered to threatened. However, crocodiles are still threatened by modification of habitat because of development adjacent to crocodile habitat and will benefit from restored freshwater flow into estuaries. As crocodiles continue to increase in number and expand into new areas, interactions with humans will occur more frequently. The challenge of integrating a recovering population of the American Crocodile with an ever-increasing use of coastal areas by humans will be the final challenge in successful recovery of this once critically endangered species.

Frank J. Mazzotti, Laura A. Brandt, Paul Moler, and Michael S. Cherkiss "American Crocodile (Crocodylus Acutus) in Florida: Recommendations for Endangered Species Recovery and Ecosystem Restoration," Journal of Herpetology 41(1), 122-132, (1 March 2007).[122:ACCAIF]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 October 2006; Published: 1 March 2007

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