Background

Action Sheet

  • Location :
    Region of Los Llanos, Colombia
  • Species status :
    Seriously threatened (according to IUCN)
  • Period :
    January 2010 - December 2012

Partner

The Orinoco crocodile , a critically endangered


The Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) is a critically endangered and is included in the threatened species Red List. It is distributed exclusively in the Llanos of the Orinoco in Venezuela and Colombia. Populations of this species have declined sharply from the intense hunting activities that took place between 1929 and the sixties. A captive breeding program was started as a result of this in Colombia in 1971. In 1975, the Orinoco crocodile was included in Appendix I of CITES. Colombia currently has more than 80 crocodiles in captivity. The most recent surveys were made between 1993 and 1996. In 1998 the Colombian environment minister issued the National Program for the Conservation for the Orinoco crocodile. New studies from 2000 and 2001 that were carried out in the Ele, Lipa and Cravo (Arauca) rivers revealed that the number of individuals and the structure of the crocodile population in the rivers had not changed since the mid-nineties. One of the Chelonia Foundation´s objectives is to implement captive breeding and reintroduction programs for Orinoco crocodile individuals. Among the organization´s other goals are the involvement of the local peoples to ensure the conservation of the species.

The Orinoco  crocodile  is  a  flagship species for both Colombia and Venezuela and has been the protagonist of  stories, legends, fables  and  folk  songs. The disappearance of this species will signify a serious loss for the maintenance and conservation its habitat, one of  the  most important ecosystems in the world, both for its high biodiversity and for its remarkable abundance of  species.  The conservation of  Crocodylus  intermedius is  also  a  strategy  of  both regional and national significance that will improve the quality of life of local people, by:

  • Promoting investment from both national and international institutions that could eventually bring resources into the region through the different conservation programs
  • Promoting tourism
  • Improving their environment (which would in turn bring more revenues from fishing activities for the local communities)

Field operator

Structure name :

Chelonia

Contact :

Dr. Manuel MERCHAN FORNELINO – President of Chelonia

Missions of Chelonia:

  • Promote sustainable human development
  • Develop and carry out international cooperation projects
  • Promote conservation initiatives
  • Develop conservation work in the various fields of herpetology
  • Develop work groups in the field of biology

www.chelonia.org

Interview with DR. MANUEL MERCHÁN

1. How and why did you decide to create in 1997 the association Chelonia? Was it while you were at university? What were the objectives of the association?

The association was created by a group of students from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Most of the founding members are still in some way or other connected with the association or belong to the directing board of the organization.

The initial idea was to create a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and research of amphibians and reptiles. The common theme of all of the organization´s projects was to take into consideration sustainable development and the conservation of natural resources. In 2006, the directing board decided that it would also be very positive for the association to be able to carry out projects abroad and  the statutes were modified accordingly.

2. What is the general objective of Chelonia?

The organization´s main objectives are the following; (1) conservation of natural resources and species in Europe, (2) international cooperation in development projects outside Europe and (3) Education – through specialized seminars and courses

3. Did you think that Chelonia would last this long? Did you think that you would still be working today at the organization?

We started up with the idea that the organization would be for the long term. The founding members were professionals and so the initiative was promising.

4. Apart from working in Chelonia, do you have other projects?

I am a professor of biology at the I.E University in Segovia, near Madrid. Also, within the university, there are other initiatives that are organized with teachers working in the same fieldof wildlife conservation.

5. How many projects is Chelonia presently managing?

The foundation has recently increased in size and has taken on more sea turtle and amphibian projects in conjunction with the Spanish environment ministry and several supporting banks. Examples of these projects are the conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean Sea as well as education projects to promote ecotourism and sustainable development in Colombia.

6. Does Chelonia have plans to establish offices outside Spain?

The fact that Chelonia is developing projects abroad and has foreign funding coming in makes it useful to have NGOs outside Spain. There are currently proposals to establish autonomous associations of the “Chelonia group” in Uruguay, Romania and Poland. In order to create associations it is important to be able to count on local groups of people and associations that share common interests to those of the organization.

7. How do you see Chelonia in about 10-20 years from now?

Ten years ago, looking back we have achieved two things, which are fundamental;

  1. the carrying out successfully of several projects and the  constitution of an efficient team capable of carrying them out.
  2. the establishment of a very solid administrative structure which at the time of its creation could have been considered to be  excessive for the actual number of projects that were being carried out at the time. Today Chelonia is able to take onboard a large number of projects   because of this strong administrative platform.

In ten years time, Chelonia will be able to expand and undertake more projects, establishing a long term line of research specialized in the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Spain. Other lines of research will also be established in different parts of Central and South America as well as Africa, including proposals for sustainable development and wildlife conservation projects.

Objectives

The overall objective of this project is to contribute to the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) through research and sustainable development alongside the participation of the local communities of the Orinoco basin in the eastern region of the Colombia Llanos.

The information collected shows that it is still possible to protect the Orinoco crocodile and its habitat, but that it is necessary and urgent to :

  • Improve the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile through research, captive breeding and reintroduction programs in the eastern Colombian Llanos.
  • Inform and educate the local populations on the importance of conserving natural ecosystems to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources, with special focus on the conservation of the Orinoco Crocodile

Actions

  1. Diagnosis of the current state of the ecosystems where Orinoco crocodile populations are present as well as of potential areas in Colombia where future populations of the species could be established.
  2. Examination of the status of Orinoco crocodile populations in Colombia.
  3. Socio-economic studies of the threats faced by the Orinoco crocodile   populations in Colombia.
  4. Improvement of the species´ captive breeding and reintroduction procedures
  5. Experimental release of crocodiles bred in captivity
  6. Publication of  a  monograph  on  the  Orinoco  crocodile  in  Colombia
  7. Design and implementation of an education environmental campaign about the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile in Colombia
  8. Implementation  of a national and regional awareness campaign in favor of C. Intermedius conservation

Diagnosis of the current state of the ecosystems where Orinoco crocodile populations are present as well as of potential areas in Colombia where future populations of the species could be established.

During the dry season, the four areas where the species is present will be visited, as well as the areas where the reintroduction programs are intended to take place. These visits will be organized alongside the local communities and private landowners who have agreed to collaborate in the conservation program. The purpose of these visits will be to determine whether these areas have the appropriate ecological conditions for the survival of the species (the right beach and sand conditions needed for reproduction, water and ecosystem quality, the presence and abundance of natural food, especially fish). The extent and impact that human activity has had and is having on the species´ survival will also be determined.

In addition, reports will be written up by the research team visiting the region using the following methodology:

  • Compilation of all secondary biotic and abiotic information
  • Fieldwork. The work will be based on mapping the region using vegetation, mammals, birds and herpetofauna surveys. The locality and altitude information recorded will be processed using GIS so that all the routes and points will be drawn up on a general map of the study area. All biotic and cartographic information will be obtained and analyzed to show the extension and distribution of the different ecosystems.

Expected Results:
Better knowledge of the conservation status of the Colombian llanos as well as that of the Orinoco crocodile populations in order to formulate effective conservation measures to protect the species.

Examination of the status of Orinoco crocodile populations in Colombia.

During the dry season (January to April / May) surveys will be conducted in all four areas where the Orinoco crocodile specimens were observed in the 1990s. The habitat surveys will be carried out by boat during both day and night. During the day, the route will be carried out upstream, searching for tracks on the sandy beaches, nests, caves or any other indication of the presence of the species. All the crocodiles found will be geo-positioned using a GPS. Nests will be located following the instructions of local guides.

Expected Results:

  • Better understanding of the conservation status of the species
  • Proposals of additional measures to support the protection of the species

Socio-economic studies of the threats faced by the Orinoco crocodile   populations in Colombia.

A socioeconomic study will be carried on the human populations that coexist with the crocodiles. All official information of the study area will be compiled and analyzed (for example population censuses). Surveys and interviews will be conducted on the fishermen and coastal residents.

The goal  of  the socioeconomic study is to understand the economic and social situation of the human population in  the  project area so that a sustainable development conservation plan may be developed. Human geography variables such as the socio-economic and demographic characteristics, population density, education, health and public services, will be analyzed. The historical and cultural elements that characterize the population will also be considered. All these elements will be focused on the local peoples´ perspectives on the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile.

Expected results:

  • Better understanding of the socioeconomic status of the local municipalities and in particular of those populations found in the distribution area of the Orinoco crocodile
  • The formulation of potential proposals and solutions that would improve the current conservation status of the species.

Improvement of the species´ captive breeding and reintroduction procedures

With the collaboration from the Roberto Franco Tropical Biology Station, a report will be presented on the number and size, sex and size of the adult specimens as well as on the conditions of the station´s facilities. In a meeting with representatives from the Tropical Biology Station Roberto Franco, appropriate measures will be discussed on how to improve the captive breeding, growth and survival of newborn crocodiles.

Expected Results:

  • The development of a research program to improve the breeding and growth conditions of Orinoco crocodile specimens in captivity.
  • More results obtained from the different breeding centers

Experimental release of crocodiles bred in captivity

With the participation of the Colombian institutions involved in the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile and based on the results from project activities 1, 2 and 3, the more suitable reintroduction areas. The selected reintroduction areas should possess the following characteristics: sandy beaches, food availability, water quality and low human impact. A protocol will be established to define the reintroduction procedure. These will be followed by an annual survey. The reintroduction of at least 50 adults will take place in the last month of the project.

Expected Results:
The release of some fifty young crocodiles into the wild (within the historical range)

Publication of  a  monograph  on  the  Orinoco  crocodile  in  Colombia

A monograph will be prepared with the project. This publication will be part of the series of monographs from the Chelonia Foundation. The monograph will explain why Orinoco crocodile numbers have been reduced so dramatically in Venezuela and Colombia. It will also propose initiatives to boost the implementation of sustainable development projects in the Llanos of the Orinoco. Crocodile and alligator specialists from Colombia and the rest of the world will also participate in the project. The editorial board of the Chelonia Foundation will coordinate the preparation of the document. The preparation of the monograph will also require the evaluation of two external experts to ensure the quality of the publication.

Expected Results:
The publication of the book

Design and implementation of an education environmental campaign about the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile in Colombia

Environmental education activities regarding the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile and that of its habitat in the region will be promoted using teaching tools, in order to educate residents and visitors about the importance of natural resource management and conservation. Activities to promote environmental education will be organized including conferences and workshops where the importance of the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile will be stressed. It is important to note that the support and participation of schools, communities and authorities in the region are needed to develop this initiative.

Expected results:
An education campaign addressing the need to protect natural ecosystems of the Llanos and of the Orinoco crocodile.

Implementation  of a national and regional awareness campaign in favor of C. Intermedius conservation

The national and regional programs for the dissemination of information on the project, its progress and results, will encompass number of different formal and informal activities. This will be achieved through different communication means. All these actions will disseminate the project strategies, actions and results and take into consideration the opinions of the different communities and authorities.

Expected Results:
A national advocacy campaign aimed at highlighting the importance of the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile and its habitat.

Main  actions

The Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) conservation project was implemented in January 2010. The first activity that was carried out by the Chelonia Foundation was to contact governmental and nongovernmental organizations (owners, managers of private reserves for environmental protection) involved in the species´ conservation. The “Corporación Autónoma Regional of Orinoquia (CORPORINOQUIA)” or Autonomous Regional Corporation of the Orinoco River was the first organization to be contacted to assess the facilities and procedures used to manage captive bred individuals Crocodylus intermedius and provide new procedures for the handling, feeding and growth of specimens.

One of the main problems encountered by the Chelonia field team was the political instability that had resulted from the electoral  process  in  Colombia  (first  round  in May 2010 and second round in June). This in turn caused an upsurge of the armed actions of the guerilla Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC – Fuerzas  Armadas  Revolucionarias  de Colombia) and had resulted in greater insecurity in  some  of the sampling areas. The Colombian authorities consequently recommended that  the Chelonia Foundation delay  some of their activities. Even  Mr.  Lacoste’s visit  in May 2010, was affected by this situation. Consequently he was not able to visit some of the Orinoco crocodile sampling areas as was originally agreed with the representatives from the Fonds de Dotation pour la Biodiversité (FDB).

News

- In August, 2012 -

Publication of the Orinoco Crocodile Monograph

After having finalised the Orinoco Crocodile Monograph and translated it in English, Chelonia Association started its distribution in Colombia, in the United States and in Spain. This book entitled “Natural History and Conservation of the Orinoco Crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) in Colombia” is an international reference for the specie knowledge and a precious tool to use as a basis for settling suitable conservation measures: a great advance for the Orinoco Crocodile conservation. The book is currently being distributed among the main public and private institutions related to the conservation of crocodilians.

Front cover page of the Orinoco Crocodile Monograph (© Chelonia)

- In June, 2012 -

Spotting of the rare Orinoco crocodile

The association Chelonia organised an expedition on the Arauca department searching for the rare Orinoco crocodile. This area is known for owning the biggest population of Columbia. Over the 185 km of river surveyed, Chelonia could observe about 30 Orinoco crocodiles: 14 adults, 15 sub-adults and 5 nests. Recent events, like the killing of adult crocodiles or the rising of the water level, had made Chelonia expect fewer observations. However, the conservation status of the specie is still very worrying and that’s why Chelonia plans to monitor the Arauca population and to encourage the creation of a protected area.

Orinoco crocodile hatchlings observed during the expedition in Arauca (© Chelonia)

- In April 2012 -

An expedition confirms Orinoco crocodile rarefaction

Chelonia recently carried through a one-week-long field expedition in Orocué, Casanare region, North-East of Colombia. More than 200 kilometres of rivers have been inventoried by day and night, looking for Orinoco crocodile tracks. Whereas local people announced the presence of 4 individuals, none was seen during the expedition.

Casanare river (Source : Chelonia)


- In March, 2012 -

The Orinoco crocodile conservation :  an issue more and more famous

The Chelonia Foundation and its counterparts have published a scientific article in the CSG (Crocodile Specialist Group of the International Union for Nature Conservation) newsletter. This article is based on the data compiled in the 2010/2011 expeditions, which update the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile populations in the wild. It also presents the behavior of a wild male, described for the first time in Colombia!


- In December, 2011 –

Continuation of Orinoco crocodile conservation awareness campaign in Colombia

The Orinoco crocodile awareness campaign took off again in early September with a series of presentations aimed at students in the main localities of Casanare and Vichada. During the presentation, the students were made aware of the critical conservation situation of the Orinoco crocodile, and were given information on the species´ biology and habitat. Posters and brochures on the project were also given out at the different educational institutions in order to reinforce the organization’s communications campaign.


- In November, 2011 –

Presentation of Orinoco crocodile program results at the IV Binational Workshop of the Orinoco Basin

The Chelonia Foundation presented the results of the Orinoco Crocodile Conservation Project at the IV Binational Workshop for the conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity in the Orinoco basin, held at the Alexander von Humbolt Research Institute from the 12th to the 15th of October in the village of Villa de Leyva (Colombia). Researchers, experts, consultants and environmental authorities from both Colombia and Venezuela attended this workshop to present and define the advances, perspectives and proposals on the conservation of the biodiversity in the Orinoco region. The conservation of the Orinoco crocodile was one of the main subjects on the agenda. Among the main actions proposed were the creation of a binational protected area, the creation and implementation of more captive breeding facilities in Colombia to reinforce the endangered wild populations, and the standardization of the survey and breeding protocols.


- In October, 2011 –

Continuation of Orinoco crocodile conservation awareness campaign in Colombia

Thirty-six lectures on Orinoco crocodile conservation were presented at ten different localities within the species´ historical distribution area, within the departments of Casanare and Vichada. These presentations were carried out between the 6th and 23rd of September, in collaboration with the Regional Autonomous Corporation of the Orinoco region (Corporinoquia). Overall 1.356 people participated and amazingly 99% of them were unaware of the fact that the Orinoco crocodile is an endangered species, which strongly demonstrates the importance of this endeavor. Brochures and posters were given out to all of the visited educational institutions.

Contribution to the Orinoco crocodile reintroduction protocol

The Chelonia Foundation and its counterparts are participating in the elaboration of a reintroduction protocol, which forms part of the Orinoco crocodile Conservation National Program. Researchers from the National University of Colombia have elaborated the protocol. This document is currently being revised by all of the different institutions that collaborate in the program. The reintroduction protocol has to follow the guidelines established by the IUCN´s Reintroduction Specialist Group, which are essential to ensure the success of the Orinoco crocodile reintroduction process in Colombia.


- In September, 2011 -

New expeditions 2011-2012 in Arauca, Colombia

The Chelonia Foundation´s research team is in the midst of carefully planning its future field activities in the department of Arauca in North-east Colombia, where the crocodile population of Arauca is probably the most numerous among the four groups identified on Colombian territory during the investigations carried out from 1994 to 1998. In these surveys, 53 specimens and 11 reproductive events were recorded. Surveys carried out in 2000 and 2001 confirmed these estimates.

The preparations are being carried out in collaboration with Corporinoquia (Corporación Autónoma Regional de la Orinoquia).


- In August, 2011 -

Meeting of the partners in the Orinoco crocodile conservation national program

On June 24th a meeting between the different institutions participating in the Orinoco Crocodile Conservation Program was held at the headquarters of the Ecosystems Department of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development Ministry in Bogota, Colombia. Among the attendees were representatives from the Ministry, the Chelonia Foundation, as well as other organizations. One of the conclusions from the meeting was that there was presently the urgent need for a captive-reared Orinoco crocodile release protocol document to be generated and agreed upon by the different participating institutions within the following two months.

Orinoco crocodile: Reproduction recorded in the Vichada River

A nest of  the Orinoco crocodile  was discovered in the first months of 2011 on the beach of “Pozo Caimán”, the area where the two Orinoco crocodile specimens had been observed in December 2010 and February 2011 by Chelonia´s researchers. This nest, the only observed in the river Vichada in recent years, contained forty-one eggs.

The above observation, together with the information collected from local inhabitants who confirmed not having observed any neonates, yearlings or juveniles of the species in the last few years, highlights the difficult situation which is currently experienced by this relict population of Orinoco crocodiles and which seems to be diminishing considerably its possibilities of recovery.

Meanwhile Chelonia is engaged in awareness campaigns aimed at informing the local communities (children and adults) about the importance of protecting the Orinoco crocodile.


Partnership agreement between the Chelonia Foundation and the Alexander von Humbolt Institute

A partnership agreement was signed between the Chelonia Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Institute, which works towards the research and protection of Colombian biodiversity. The Alexander von Humboldt Institute was represented by its director, Brigitte L. G. Baptiste and the Chelonia Foundation by its Colombia coordinator, Antonio Castro.

Among the planned activities is the collaboration between the two entities to publish a monograph on the crocodilian and turtle species in Colombia and the strengthening of the National Biodiversity System Data, which is currently managed by the Institute.


- In July, 2011-

CHELONIA FOUNDATION AWARENESS CAMPAIGN CONTINUES

Chelonia Foundation Coordinator for Colombia held a meeting with the Environmental Education Department of the Regional and Autonomous Corporation for the Orinoquia (Corporinoquia) in the city of Yopal on 23rd May to program joint presentations addressed to 12-17 year old students of several schools of the localities of Yopal, Orocué, Bocas del Pauto, Trinidad (Casanare Department) and Santa Rosalía, La Primavera and Puerto Carreño (Vichada Department). Similar initials are going to be take place in the Arauca department. The presentations are planned for the months of July and August, just after the June school holidays.

ORINOCO AND BOJONAWI RESERVE EXPEDITION

The Chelonia Foundation staff continued its research in the Orinoco River 40km upstream of Puerto Carreño in the Casanare and Vichada Departments.The Bojonawi Reserve, which is located at the shore of the Orinoco River and managed by the non-profit Colombian NGO “Omacha Foundation”, was also visited. The reserve has a lagoon that was prospected in the day and traveled at night by boat. Unfortunately only spectacled caimans (Caiman crocodilus) were sighted. The information gathered from fishermen and boat pilots seems to indicate that no Orinoco crocodiles have been observed in the last 10 years, in the stretch of the Orinoco between Puerto Carreño and Casuarito. Some of the research team´s information sources have however confirmed the presence of Orinoco crocodile specimens 124km upstream from Puerto Carreño.

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- In June, 2011-

PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN IN COLOMBIA: TRAINING SESSION IN THE ORINOCO REGION

As part of the campaign to increase public awareness on the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile, Dr. Manuel Merchán, the President of the Chelonia Foundation, gave a lecture at the Corporinoquia headquarters in the city of Yopal (the capital of Casanare department in Colombia). A considerable number of technical and executive staff from Corporinoquia, the environmental authority of the Orinoco region in Colombia attended this conference, dedicated to the conservation status of the species as well as to the latest project results.


- In June, 2011-

NEW SURVEY ON AN AREA OF A RELICT POPULATION OF THE ORINOCO CROCODILE IN THE META RIVER

In March 2011, the Chelonia Foundation team carried out a new survey in the Meta River (the part lying on the borders of the Casanare and Vichada departments, between La Primavera and La Constancia). This area had been found in the 1990s to contain one of the four populations then remaining of Orinoco crocodiles with 15 specimens having been located in 166 km of river. After having carried out observations along 235 km of river, the Chelonia research team has unfortunately observed neither specimen nor trail of the species. Despite some inhabitants having affirmed presence of individuals, the researchers’ observations confirm the deterioration in the conservation status of the species over the last fifteen years.


- In May, 2011-

New Orinoco crocodile individual observations at the Vichada River

The Vichada River was explored in the first ten days of February for a second time in order to observe and record new Orinoco crocodile sightings in the stretch of river between Cumaribo and Santa Rita.
Water levels reached their minimum during this month, and consequently a considerable number of beaches were uncovered. One new specimen was recorded at Pozo Caimán, the same area where another individual had been located in the December 2010 expedition.
The specimen was estimated to measure between 230 and 250 cm in length, which confirmed that it was different from the one that had been found in December. No other trails or specimens were located for the rest of the expedition.


- In February, 2011-

First specimens of the wild Orinoco crocodile finally located in Colombia!

During the month of December 2010, Chelonia staff went to the village of Cumaribo located in the central part of the Vichada region, searching for trails and footprints indicative of the presence of Orinoco crocodile specimens. More than 330 km of river were traveled. Despite the elevated water levels, a crocodile specimen was located 200km from Cumaribo, just 80  meters away from the observers´ boat. The specimen measured between 3.00 and 3.50 meters in length! Another specimen was located 10km farther downstream from the place of this first sighting.

This is a great discovery for the Chelonia research team, which has already spent a considerable number of months searching for Orinococrocodile individuals.Another visit is planned  to the area when water levels reach their minimum at the end of January to confirm the presence of a new viable Orinoco crocodile population.


- In December, 2010-

New Orinoco crocodile surveys in the region of Casanare, Colombia

The Chelonia Foundation team, carried out at the beginning of November flights over several little streams and affluents of the Meta River in search of the rare Orinoco crocodile. These flights  were carried out on trikes, ultralight hang-gliders, and on an Air Cam plane, thus allowing for low and slow surveillance. A hundred kilometers of the Meta River were inspected including the “caños” such as the Caños Duda, Guanapalo and Pauto. The Cravo Sur River, another affluent of the Meta River, was also inspected. Unfortunately, no evidence confirming the presence of the species has been detected, which does not  necessarily mean that the species has disappeared, but reinforces the importance of this project in favor of the Orinoco crocodile.

New teaching material dealing with the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile in Colombia.

Chelonia has published and distributed brochures on the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile in Colombia. These brochures have been designed to make the general public aware of the species´ critical conservation status and of the pressing need to stimulate and strengthen conservation efforts. The brochure will be distributed mainly amongst Colombian educational, environmental and conservation organizations, as well as among the general public in Los Llanos and in other areas, which are directly concerned by the conservation of the Orinoco crocodile.


- In November, 2010-

Research on the las Orinoco crocodiles at “La Aurora”, Colombia

Chelonia began working at “Finca La Aurora”. La Aurora is a ”Social Protected Area” (Reserva de la Sociedad Civil in Spanish) located at the north edge of the Casanare region, in the municipalities of “Paz de Ariporo” and “Hato Corozal”. During the first expedition to Aurora, a number of emblematic species of the Orinoco lowlands were identified, such as the capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), deer (Odocoileus virginianus), caiman (Caiman crocodilus), anaconda (Eunectes murinus) and more than 30 bird species. Also, local people confirmed the presence of jaguar (Panthera onca) and puma (Puma concolor) and Orinoco crocodile populations. In “La Aurora” the Chelonia researchers travelled by boat along the “Chire Nuevo” and “El Indio” rivers, where the presence of Orinoco crocodiles had been confirmed during the last dry season (December to February, 2010).


- In October, 2010-

Leaflets and posters to protect the Orinoco crocodile

Chelonia finished the design of the final version of the leaflet and poster for the awareness program, which was approved by the different institutions participating in the execution and funding  of the project; The Regional Autonomous Corporation of the Orinoquia (Corporinoquia), the Fonds de Dotation pour la Biodiversité-Save Your Logo, the Fundación Biodiversidad, the Natural Protected Areas Corporation, and the Conservation and Forestry Development Foundation. These visual materials, aim to inform the general public about the critical situation of the Orinoco crocodile in Colombia and the urgent need for its conservation. The leaflet contains photographs and a short text to show basic information about the natural history and conservation status    of the species.

Photos Gallery

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Crocodile de l'Orénoque
Crocodile de l'Orénoque

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