Print version ISSN 0366-5232
FORERO-MEDINA, GERMÁN; CASTANO-MORA, OLGA VICTORIA and RODRIGUEZ-MELO, MIGUEL. Ecology of Caiman crocodilus fuscus on San Andrés Island, Colombia : A preliminar study. Caldasia [online]. 2006, vol.28, n.1, pp. 115-124. ISSN 0366-5232.
The island of San Andrés, in the Colombian Caribbean, is a biosphere reserve and an important region due to its biological and cultural diversity. Among the species that make part of the fauna and flora of the island there are some that have been considered as recent, deliberate introductions. These species have not been studied yet and their effects should be evaluated as soon as possible. The babillas Caiman crocodilus fuscus (Cope 1868), were introduced to the island in the seventies and no study had been conducted on their ecology at this place. In this work we identified the different localities where C. c. fuscus occurs in San Andrés during the dry season, we estimated the abundance at each locality using nocturnal counts, and we studied their diet using the stomach flushing technique. We also studied the relation of this species with the community. The work was conducted from May to June of 2002, during the dry season. The species was found in four permanent freshwater ponds, with local abundances of 8, 17, 34 and 22 individuals and no animals were seen in the mangrove forests. Twenty individuals were captured and stomach contents showed a diet composed of coleopterans, orthopterans, other insects, myriapods, crabs, fishes and birds. The most frequent element was a coleopteran from the genera Hydrophilus. We found that the babillas are used for tourist purposes and there was no exploitation or extraction of animals observed.
Keywords : Caiman abundance; Babillas; Caiman; Caiman diet; Island of San Andrés.