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The term crocodilians, used to refer to the different species belonging to the Order Crocodylia (24 species currently living), includes "true" crocodiles (Family Crocodilidae), caimans and alligators (Family Alligatoridae) and gharials (Family Gavialidae). These large reptiles have traditionally been exploited locally, but the commercial interest in the skin of some species, together with the loss or deterioration of their habitat and the fear they arouse, have led some of their populations to be seriously threatened. Thus, nowadays seven species are critically endangered (CR) and four are considered vulnerable (VU). Other species that have undergone periods of intense hunting in the past are recovering or have recovered thanks to conservation programmes and regulated harvesting.


Among the critically endangered species, is the “caimán llanero” or Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius), which is present only in the Orinoco basin, shared by Colombia and Venezuela. Chelonia's interest in supporting the conservation of this species led to the implementation of several projects since 2010 in cooperation with the Corporación Autónoma Regional de la Orinoquia (Corporinoquia), an environmental authority with jurisdiction in three departments of the Colombian Llanos. Through these initiatives, an update of information was carried out on the conservation status of three of its four relict populations in Colombia, compilation of information on territorial behaviour and habitat use, promotion of recovery actions (reintroduction and ranching / reinforcement), identification of suitable areas for reintroduction / reinforcement actions, socioeconomic analysis of the population in the area of Los Llanos, linking organisations in the conservation of the species, and technical-scientific support. Also, a wide component of awareness and dissemination was carried out at a local, national and international level through the preparation and distribution of posters, brochures, bookmarks, information sheets, informative notes, scientific articles, monographs on the species, talks, conferences, presentations, interviews and meetings. For more information on these actions or the species, you can consult the project files (Projects section), the publications (Monographies section) or visit the website:

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