CSL
Caiman yacare (DAUDIN, 1802)


NAMES | DISTRIBUTION | HABITAT | STATUS | APPEARANCE | IMAGES | DIET | BREEDING | CONSERVATION

FAMILY:
ALLIGATORIDAE

A. mississippiensis
A. sinensis
C. crocodilus
C. c. apaporiensis
C. c. fuscus
C. latirostris
C. yacare
M. niger
P. palpebrosus
P. trigonatus

FAMILY:
CROCODYLIDAE

C. acutus
C. intermedius
C. johnstoni
C. mindorensis
C. moreletii
C. niloticus
C. novaeguineae
C. palustris
C. porosus
C. rhombifer
C. siamensis
M. cataphractus
O. tetraspis
T. schlegelii

FAMILY:
GAVIALIDAE

G. gangeticus

DICHOTOMOUS KEY
[German]

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STATUS OF INFORMATION:
This information was most-recently updated January 2009 and is considered up-to-date. Please contact me directly regarding updates or corrections.

COMMON NAMES:
Yacare caiman, Paraguayan caiman, Red caiman, Piranha caiman, Coscarudo, Yacare de Hocico, Angosto, Yacare negro, Southern spectacled caiman, Angosto, Caimán del Paraguay, caimán yacaré, Jacaré, Jacarétinga, Jacará de lunetos, lagarto, tinga, yacare, yacaré

NAME ETYMOLOGY:
> Caiman is a Spanish term for "alligator" or any crocodilian
> yacare refers to Jacaré (or Yacaré) which is a regional term for "alligator"

SUBSPECIES STATUS:
Until recently viewed as a subspecies of Caiman crocodilus - C. c. yacare. It has now been accorded full species status.

DISTRIBUTION:
[CLICK ON MAP FOR DETAILED RANGE]
Distribution map Argentina (north), Brazil (south), Bolivia (south), Paraguay

HABITAT:
Found in a variety of habitat types, similar to Caiman crocodilus - wetlands, rivers and lakes. Often associated with floating mats of vegetation. Has the southernmost distribution of all caimans.

STATUS:
     CITES: Appendix II
     IUCN Red List: LRlc (LOW RISK, LEAST CONCERN)
     Estimated wild population: 100,000 to 200,000
Summary: Depleted compared with historical populations, but still widely distributed and often occurring at very high densities during the dry season

APPEARANCE:
Similar in general design to Caiman crocodilus, reaching lengths of 2.5 to 3 m. Like the common caiman, its scales have well-developed osteoderms. The less ossified flanks are used in the skin trade. One of its common names is "Piranha Caiman" is derived from its taste for South American Piranha fish, although some attribute this to the more crocodile-like dentition where teeth in the lower jaw may protrude through the surface of the upper jaw. However, this latter characteristic is not unusual in other crocodilian species particularly older individuals.

Dentition codeDENTITION:
5 pre-maxillary; 14-15 maxillary; 17-21 mandibular
Total no. of teeth = 72-82 (mean = 74)

IMAGES:
[click on image for enlargement]

Click Head of adult caiman Click Head-on view of caiman Click Top-down view of caiman head

DIET:
Aquatic invertebrates (particularly snails) and vertebrates such as fish with the occasional snake.

BREEDING:
Constructs a mound nest into which 21 to 38 eggs are usually laid. Peak egg laying occurs during the middle of the rainy season. Females guard the nest during incubation, but this has been shown to be influenced by the effects of hunting pressure - females in areas of increased hunting pressure are more wary and tend to abandon the nest once eggs are have laid. Hatching occurs in March.

CONSERVATION:
Ecological studies have been carried out in the Panatal in Brazil. Population survey data are extensive throughout the species' range, and shows that numbers are generally depleted. While protected, these measures are rarely effectively enforced. Removal of the Endangered Species Act in the US would severely affect this species. Illegal hunting during the 1970s and 80s is the primary reason for these low numbers, and organised poaching (e.g. Brazil) still remains one of the major threats to the species along with habitat destruction. Like Caiman crocodilus, C. yacare is able to breed relatively quickly in comparison with other species of crocodilians. This has helped to reduce the effects of hunting pressure.

Sustainable yield programs are in operation in three countries, with the fourth (Paraguay) in the process of setting up such a program. Cropping of wild populations occurs in Bolivia, and ranching and farming programs are underway in both Brazil and Argentina. Both of these need to be further developed in conjunction with improved habitat management, education, and studies of wild population dynamics. Restocking of wild populations is also a possibility.

MORE INFORMATION:
For more information on distribution and conservation issues for this species,see the CSG
Action Plan resource.

SIGNIFICANT REFERENCES:

NAMES | DISTRIBUTION | HABITAT | STATUS | APPEARANCE | IMAGES | DIET | BREEDING | CONSERVATION

SPECIES LIST | BIOLOGY DATABASE | COMMUNICATION | CAPTIVE CARE
CROCS ON FILM | CROC SHOTS | CHINESE ALLIGATOR FUND | CROC LINKS


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