|Immature American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) by Alfred Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org|
While everyone knows the famous American Alligator, did you know that there is also an American Crocodile? The American Crocodile has a large range across the Americas, but within the U.S., it only occurs in the southern portion of Florida. The American crocodile was listed as federally endangered in 1975 with the major cause of population decline attributed to habitat destruction, though hunting has also been a factor. Alteration of the hydrological regimen, causing changes in salinity and water levels, as well as construction/development of the Florida Keys created inhospitable environments for nesting. By restoring habitat areas and limiting hunting and capturing, the American crocodile population has increased and its status has been downgraded on the IUCN List from Endangered to Threatened.
American Crocodile Resources: National Geographic, National Park Service, University of Florida IFAS
Did you know that Rocky Mountain National Park is celebrating Endangered Species Day? For more information: Rocky Celebrates Commitment To Wildlife Protection 10th Annual Endangered Species Day Special Program