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Acta zoológica mexicana

versión On-line ISSN 2448-8445versión impresa ISSN 0065-1737


LOPEZ-LUNA, Marco A.; HIDALGO-MIHART, Mircea G.  y  AGUIRRE-LEON, Gustavo. Description of Morelet's crocodile Crocodylus moreletii nests from an urban landscape in southeastern Mexico. Acta Zool. Mex [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.1, pp.1-16. ISSN 2448-8445.

''Laguna de las Ilusiones'' is an isolated urban lake in the city of Villahermosa, Tabasco in México that retains a population of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii). During the years 2007 and 2008 we studied 22 natural nests of this species. Most of the nests (53%) were built with vegetal material (leaf-litter, stems and thin branches). Also, we recorded human waste as part of the materials for nest construction. Mean clutch size was 30.4 ± 10. 8 eggs by nest (nests n = 19, eggs n = 578). Mean egg volume is significantly different among nests, an indication of size differences between the nesting females. Physical characteristics of the nests in 2007-2008 were compared with nests found at the same area during 1991-1994. We found that nest diameter, shore distance and clutch size were significantly higher in 2007-2008. Hatching in "Laguna de las Ilusiones" was low during 2007-2008 (33.9% ± 31.21) compared with other crocodilians. All new born crocodiles in 2007 and 2008 were males. We discuss how the city may affect the nesting of Morelet's crocodiles, influencing different aspects such as, the use of new materials for nest construction, increasing the size of the basal area of the nests, or promoting the search for a nesting site away from the shore. We recommend a management of the crocodiles with female reintroduction and artificial incubation in the "Laguna de las Ilusiones" to facilitate conservation of this population.

Palabras clave : clutch size; egg size; hatching success; neonate sex ratio; nesting habitat.

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