Research Article

Threats to Brazilian crocodilian populations

P. Brazaitisa1, George H. Rebêloa2, Carlos Yamashitaa3, Elizabeth A. Odiernaa4 and Myrna E. Watanabea5

a1 Central Park Wildlife Center, 830 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10021, USA.

a2 Instituto de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Depart. Ecologia, CXP 478, 69.000, Manaus-AM, Brazil.

a3 Rua Voluntaries da Patria 3714, CEP 02402, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

a4 Montefiore Medical Center, 111 E 210th St, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.

a5 Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA.


Brazilian crocodiles are threatened by gold mining and related mercury- and lead-contamination of animals and their habitat, deforestation, increasing use of land for agriculture and destructive forestry, increased human incursions, and commercial and subsistence hunting for skins and meat. Contaminated meat is consumed by local people and miners, and meat and skins are exported to global markets. Already depleted black caiman Melanosuchus niger populations are seriously affected.