Rare Orinoco crocodiles satellite tracking


This is a video from Venezuela about Orinoco crocodile conservation.

From Wildlife Extra:

Orinoco crocodiles to be tracked by satellite

Four of these reptiles will be released and monitored with satellite transmitters

August 2013. Two of the world’s twelve species of crocodiles live in Colombia, the spectacled caiman (Severely threatened locally) and the Critically Endangered Orinoco crocodile.

The Orinoco crocodile can reach seven feet long and is the only crocodile species whose distribution is contained in a single watershed. Although they originally lived throughout the entire area of the Orinoco, it has been endangered by indiscriminate hunting, especially 1930-1950.

“Today there are only two relic populations of these animals in the wild, in Arauca region (At the confluence of the Ele, Lipa and Cravo Rivers) and the Meta region (In the Guayabero, Duda and Losada Rivers),” says the environmental scientist Willington Martinez, of the UN’s Roberto Franco Tropical Biology Station.

The Franco station has been working on plans to protect the species by developing a project to reintroduce Orinoco crocodiles into the wild; the project is being run with the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS). The project plans to release and monitor four Orinoco crocodiles, which have been fitted with satellite transmitters in the department of Meta.

Crocodile release

Experts have chosen pre-juvenile specimens that retain their hunting instinct, have been isolated from the public, and are used to capturing live prey. They have undergone blood tests and physical examinations to establish that they are in good health.

The transmitters will be attached externally, and every time one of the animals removes its head from the water, the data will be sent to a satellite. The information can be accessed from a web page (which can be accessed by any user) and even be sent to mobile phones of the experts.

The researchers hope to obtain data that allow them to determine patterns of habitat use and movement.

Read more at the website of the National University of Colombia; also here.

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