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Crocodiles

The crocodile lives today as a relic of the age when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Belize is home to two of the 23 species living in the tropical regions of the world.

The American Crocodile inhabits the coasts of Belize, generally in mangrove swamps and river mouths. The smaller and more prevalent Morelet’s Crocodile live in freshwater bodies like lagoons in inland Belize. Many such crocodiles call the Runaway Creed Preserve home.

The future of crocodiles living in tropical Belize depends greatly on the environmental impact of humans. The Morelet’s Crocodile population began noticeably decreasing in the 1950s, and nearly went extinct by the late 1960s by both professional and recreational hunters. Following the Wildlife Protection Act of 1981, however, it became illegal to export Morelet’s crocodile skin, which helped the population to recover.

Many people perceive crocodiles as a threat to their own livelihoods, even though crocodiles rarely attack humans. In fact, the benefits crocodiles provide the overall ecosystem far outweigh the risks. The crocodile acts as a keystone species, a creature whose existence contributes to ecological diversity and supports the well-being of other animals and vegetation. Crocodiles in Belize help maintain strong fish populations, feeding on weaker, sicker fish and thereby minimizing disease. They also support water quality and cleanliness by foraging the water for dead animal matter.

The Runaway Creek Preserve values the ecological contributions of the crocodile. Its staff works to sustain local populations of animals like the crocodile, without which the long-run viability of the ecosystem would degrade. Becoming a member of the Runaway Creek family would greatly enhance the preserve’s ability to protect and enhance the natural habitat of the crocodile. If you would like to support the mission of Runaway Creek please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team or visit our online conservation support page.

Support

If you would like to receive updates on Runaway Creek travel opportunities, research findings and other information or if you would like to support the mission of Runaway Creek and the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation please contact us.
rainforest preserve and living history