Puerto Vallarta urged to have crocodile management plan

Although in Puerto Vallarta and neighboring municipalities there are around 400 wild crocodiles distributed in different bodies of water, there is no preventive management plan for this type of reptile.

For this reason, the coordinator of the University Center of the Coast Sur (CUCSur), Pablo Hernández Hurtado, urged the authorities to implement a plan in the face of the growing attacks that have been registered against several individuals, the University of Guadalajara (UdeG) reported.

Although there is already a protocol of action for cases of crocodile sighting published by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), the researcher says it is insufficient due to its limitations, since it only establishes the steps to follow in case of the sighting of a crocodile, approach and attack to human, but does not have a management approach of the species or ecosystem to avoid that the specimens are not assaulted by people.

“We have to work more and start doing preventive campaigns so that people become aware,” Hernández Hurtado added in an interview broadcast by UdeG.

It is noteworthy that this year in Puerto Vallarta there have been at least two bloody attacks on reptiles, the first occurred on May 30, when the tail of an adult animal was decapitated and lacerated, and another on October 3, when he intentionally attempted against a baby that was hung from a tree and left a threatening message.

Xóchitl Yin Hernández, Jalisco delegate from the State Environmental Protection Agency (Profepa), in an interview with the same station, denied that in the current context of violence, special measures will be implemented, but said that as part of the recently published Semarnat protocol, there will be support from the Navy to monitor compliance.

“The protocol dictates measures for a healthier coexistence in the environment where we have the urban area that reaches the wild areas, the truth is that it does require a little more information to the public on how to handle these encounters when they occur. We can not avoid that a person feels threatened by these animals, what happens is that as citizens we were not prepared,” he acknowledged.

“These two issues (attacks) that were avoidable, given the number of encounters I see, there is a lot of ignorance on the part of the citizens regarding what to do, but the 911 is an immediate way of attention in containing this type of case. There has been a forgetfulness on the part of the authorities on this issue, the meetings are inter-institutional, never stopped attending (the issue), we have always been informing,” added Hernandez to the claim of the lack of a management plan.

At the moment the crocodiles of Jalisco (Crocodylus acutus) are subject to special protection, the reason why to attempt crimes against them constitutes a federal crime.

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