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Prosperous Louisiana Crocodile May Reduce Farmer Return Slots | Jobs

New Orleans (AP) —The once endangered crocodile is thriving in the wild, and Louisiana officials are proposing to significantly reduce the rate at which farmers have to return to spawning swamps. increase.

“In the last 50 years, crocodile nest surveys have increased from an estimated less than 10,000 in the 1970s and 1980s to well over 60,000 in recent years,” the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission said in a notice released Wednesday. I did. ” Nesting has created a population that can be maintained at a much lower farm return rate. “

The Commission is commenting on a proposal to reduce that rate from 10% to 5% until January 4.

Large armored reptiles do not breed in captivity, so farmers eggs from their nests as long as they return to the same area at a constant rate as young people large enough to repel humans and predators other than much larger crocodiles. Can be collected.

Alligator leather is made of fine leather for products such as watch bands, boots and wallets. NS Meat Used for sausages. The company also sells roasts, steaks, ribs, nuggets, jerky and even whole-skinned crocodiles. The forelimbs are sold as “crocodile feathers”.

About 1.2 million crocodile have been returned since the crocodile farming was approved in 1986, said Jeb Linscombe, head of the crocodile program at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Thursday.

The return rate was initially set at 17%, based on an estimate that about 83% would die in the egg or before it was 4 feet (1.2 meters) long. Wild hatched crocodiles of that size are about four years old, but readily available food makes farmed crocodiles grow much faster.

Raccoons, other predators, and floods destroy about one-third of all nests. The black and yellow hatchery is about 8.5 inches (22 centimeters) long and weighs only 2 ounces (57 grams). Therefore, even if the mother’s crocodile stays with the baby for about a year, it is a prey to large crocodiles, charadrii, otters, and fish.

Uncontrolled hunting almost wiped out American alligators before Louisiana banned all hunting in 1962. Alligator Mississippiensis was one of the first species listed by the federal government as an endangered species. 1967, After Congress passed the predecessor of the Endangered Species Act.

“The main reason the seeds have recovered is the elimination of the black market,” Linscomb said.

Louisiana allowed small, highly regulated hunting in 1972 and 1973, and began the state-wide season in 1981. Two years later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the species had recovered in most of its range and was “excluded from the list.” Overall 1987.

According to state management programs, more than 1.1 million wild crocodiles have been killed, more than 11 million crocodile eggs have been collected and nearly 7.3 million farmed crocodiles have been sold since 1972. 2019-2020 Annual Report.

Investigators who jumped over coastal wetlands in the summer of 2019 estimated the number of crocodile nests to be close to a record high of nearly 68,000. This year’s estimates were thousands below that, according to Linscomb.

He said changes in weather patterns were one of the reasons for the large numbers. Nests were much less during low-water droughts, with regular droughts during the first 40 years of state nest surveys. However, there has been no drought in the last decade.

The hunter captured 23,828 crocodiles during the wild season of 2019. This was the second consecutive increase. “But harvests remain depressed due to oversupply of crocodile skins around the world,” the report said.

This year’s and final harvests have fallen due to hurricane Ida, Laura, Delta, and COVID-19 limits, Linscombe said.

Farmers’ return rates have declined several times over the years.

Current regulations require farmers to return 10% of freshly hatched turtles within two years. This is a sliding scale based on an average length of 36-60 inches (0.9-1.5 meters). The longer the average length, the lower the percentage.

In 2017, about 387,000 eggs were collected. As a result, about 39,000 farmed crocodiles were measured, two years later, and their tails were notched, tagged and released. Biologists want at least half to be female, so their gender was also determined.

About 450,000 eggs were collected this summer, according to Linscomb.

He said the impact of the 10% to 5% change may not appear in 10, 15, or even 20 years.

“The key to everything is to monitor it and make sure that the actions you take have the results you want,” he said.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.



Prosperous Louisiana Crocodile May Reduce Farmer Return Slots | Jobs

Source link Prosperous Louisiana Crocodile May Reduce Farmer Return Slots | Jobs

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