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Orinoco Flow

Orinoco crocodile adult

December's Pic of the Month comes from Sal Scibetta, showing an adult Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) at the Dallas Aquarium.

Orinoco crocodiles are still classified as one of the world's most endangered species. They have a limited distribution, and have suffered high levels of hunting, habitat loss, competition with introduced species, and more. In Venezuela, however, their future is a little more promising due to a reintroduction program that has been operating since the early 1990s. Reintroduction programs have had a chequered history, but crocodilians appear to be more suited than most species to such a conservation strategy. Inherently, crocodilians are very good at recovering from population decline as long as they have suitable habitat, and pressures on them are controlled. Reintroduction is merely a push in the right direction - a way of kick-starting recovery for species that have suffered significant declines in the past. Successes with Orinoco crocodiles have given crocodile researchers hope that other species such as the Chinese alligator may benefit greatly from reintroduction programs, and it emphasises the importance of having healthy captive populations to form the basis of a restocking strategy.



Well, it's December, and the decision on who wins the prize for the best Picture of the Month will be made before the end of the year. The winner will receive a high-quality Ilfochrome print of a crocodile, which will be revealed here when the winner is announced. Who do you think deserves the prize? Write to me and let me know, along with the reasons why. Incidentally, I will not be making the decision (that will be done by an independent panel). It goes without saying that any of my photographs are excluded from judgement.



Do you have a photograph which you'd like to become the Pic of the Month? Submit it and I'll select the best. The best photograph I receive each year will receive a prize - an Ilfochrome print - to be awarded in December. New entries will go into the 2002 draw.


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