Реферат: Alligator Essay Research Paper The American Crocodile

crocodile was placed on the endangered species list in 1975. "[C. acutus}

produces a commercially valuable hide and the principal reason for past declines

in population size can be attributed to the extensive commercial

overexploitation that occurred from the 1930s into the 1960's (1 Species).

"In most populations C. acutus is extensively hunted with only one or two

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populations being adequately protected in national parks in Costa Rica,

Venezuela, and the United States" (226 Ross). "Once crocodilian skin

was a source of high-quality, pliable, decorative leather that takes on a bright

sheen when processed, trafficking in skins became big business with huge

returns. Crocodilian skins are processed into a large variety of very expensive

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leather products. In the early 1900s US tanneries alone were processing between

250,000 and 500,000 skins per year. As supplies dwindled (crocodiles), prices

rose and so did the profitability of hunting. Even after protective laws were

enacted, the profit incentive encouraged large-scale poaching and smuggling of

illegal skins by middlemen servicing the tanneries and leather markets. By the

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middle of the 1960s crocodile hunting had left many species critically

threatened, including the American crocodile near to extinction. Today the world

market for crocodilian skins is about 2 million hides per year. Some of these

come from licensed, controlled hunting and some are harvested from the captive

populations on farms and ranches. These skins are considered to be illegal, but

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at least a million of the hides taken annually are obtained from poachers."

(102 Levy). Also, Habitat destruction is responsible for reduction, and in

inhabited area motor vehicles are a major killer of crocodiles. [The American

crocodile almost disappeared from its only habitat in the United States, by the

1970s. But now, A well-protected population of crocodiles exists at the

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southernmost tip of Florida. The transformed natural landscape that limited

their range now supports about 500 animals. Habitats have been protected by both

state and federal agencies as well as by the nuclear power industry. The major

nuclear power plant of South Florida at Turkey Point has found increasing

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