Crocodile Monitoring in Belize
Two species of crocodiles reside in Belize: the Morelet's crocodile and the American crocodile. The survival of both species is threatened by continuing human development within their wetland habitats. Very little data exist on the status and distribution of crocodiles in Belize, especially the Morelet's crocodile in marsh habitats. University of Florida scientists, in collaboration with the Lamanai Field Research Center (LFRC), are collecting data on growth and distribution of Morelet's crocodiles in the New River Lagoon and surrounding marsh, as part of a long-term monitoring project. We capture crocodiles, measure and weigh them, and give each a unique identification mark. By recapturing marked crocodiles, we can monitor individual growth and body condition on an ongoing basis. Visitors are invited to participate in the research program through a "crocodile encounter," where they assist with data collection and learn about crocodile ecology from our nature guides.