american crocodile.jpg
 

AMERICAN CROCODILE

CROCODYLUS ACUTUS

LOCAL NAME: Crocodrilo, Alligator, Lagarto

RANGE: United States, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Cayman Islands, Haiti, Jamaica

HABITAT: Coastal mangrove islands, coastal mainland, mangrove swamps, freshwater river & river mouths, saltwater lagoons and lakes


SIZE: Hatchling - 10 inches; Adult female - 10 feet; Adult male - 13 feet; Maximum reported size - 16.4 feet. Here on Ambergris Caye, we tend to see the average of females more in the 8-9 foot range and males in the 10-11 foot range. 

DIET: Crocs are opportunistic hunters, and apex predators as adults. This means many creatures encountered by a croc can be potential prey. Young crocs tend to consume insects, tadpoles, frogs, and small fish, while adult American crocs consume a large percentage of fish and crustaceans, plus any reptiles, birds, and mammals they may encounter. 

REPRODUCTION: Females mature around 7 feet and can lay anywhere from 20-80 eggs. Though this may seem like a lot of babies for one female to hatch, only an estimated 1% of hatchlings will survive to reach sexual maturity. 

CONSERVATION STATUS: Vulnerable (high risk of extinction in the wild, intervention is needed to secure a future for the species)

MAIN THREATS: Loss and degradation of habitat, hybridization, illegal hunting (DON'T PURCHASE CROC TEETH NECKLACES), drowning in gill nets

FUN FACTS:

-American crocodiles are the largest of the two species found in Belize, the smaller being the Morelet's freshwater crocodile found on the mainland

-American crocodiles have a high salt tolerance, allowing them to live in highly saline habitats like the ocean and saltwater lagoons, but can and do enjoy living in freshwater habitats, as well. 

-In the northern most region of their range, American crocodiles can be found in the Florida, which is the only place in the world where you can find crocodiles and alligators sharing the same habitat. 

-Unlike other reptilians, some species of crocodilians (including the American crocodile) are quite maternal. The female will protect the nest, help hatch eggs, and guard her young for up to a year before they wander off on their own crocodile journey. 

-Though they can become large, a wild American crocodile (meaning unaltered by human activity, such as illegal feeding) is fearful of humans and will usually choose to flee when they feel a human "predator" comes too close for comfort. 


HOW CAN YOU HELP THE AMERICAN CROCODILE?

-Never feed a crocodile or tease them into approaching people, as it puts our community members and pets at risk. Report feeding or harassment of crocodiles for the safety of the community and crocodile. 

-Never purchase crocodile teeth necklaces, skulls, or anything made of crocodile material, as these are made from poached animals. In Belize, crocodiles are protected and therefore no part of the animal can be in your legal possession. 

-Gone fishing? Be sure to clean your fish out at sea or discard your fish scraps in a garbage. Never toss fish scraps into the water surrounding homes or swimming spots, as this will likely attract a crocodile and/or its prey species. 

-Protect your pets. Crocodiles have been known to attack unattended pets, so never let your pets run loose. If you live next to the water, be sure to have a fence or barrier in place to prevent a crocodile from entering the yard and the dog from entering the water. Do not chain up pets close to bodies of water, as they cannot escape if they are in danger. If your yard is not fenced, keep pets inside and walk them on a leash. If dogs are kept outside, use a fully enclosed kennel to protect them from predators.

-Report concerning behavior. Never take a situation into your own hands. 

This is your Team Member description. Use this space to write a brief description of this person’s role and responsibilities, or add a short bio with a background summary. It’s also a great opportunity to highlight how this person is an asset to the team.

Click to learn more about me
 

FIND ME AT
THE TRUCK STOP

The Truck Stop has partnered with Aces Wildlife Rescue to give their guests a wild experience! Placed around the property are QR codes linking to info on our magnificent wildlife found on Ambergris Caye. Scan the codes and be directed to that specific animal's information page. There are 10 QR codes located around their restaurant, visit The Truck Stop to find all 10 and be sure to tag #AcesWildlifeRescue when you do!

While you're there, be sure to order "The Crocktail", a creamy, minty and shaken alcoholic beverage inspired by the refreshing waters and rich biodiversity of Belize. For every "Crocktail" sold, Truck Stop will donate $2 to Aces Wildlife Rescue.

truck stop logo.png