Degree of Threat: Very high - high
Comments: Major threat in most parts of the range is poaching for skins. In some areas, populations have declined as a result of killing for meat or fat, killing for "fun," collection of eggs, and entanglement in fishing gear (Schubert 1994). Habitat loss is also a threat, especially in Florida. Nesting sites and non-nesting habitat have been lost to development at Miami Beach and in the upper Florida Keys, but this loss has been partially offset by creation of artificial nesting sites on spoil banks along southern Biscayne Bay and a westward addition to nesting range in Florida Bay (Kushlan and Mazzotti 1989). Future threats in Florida include stochastic natural disasters such as hurricanes and cold weather, road mortality, continued habitat degradation, and poaching (USFWS 1998). Crocodiles are sensitive to human presence (especially at nest sites). In Florida, disturbance at nest sites caused females to abandon the site (Kushlan and Mazzotti 1989).
In Florida, crocodiles remain threatened by modification of habitat because of development adjacent to crocodile habitat; they will benefit from restored freshwater flow into estuaries (Mazzoti et al. 2007). As crocodiles increase in abundance and expand into new areas, interactions with humans will occur more frequently; integration of a recovering crocodile population with ever-increasing human use of coastal areas is a major challenge (Mazzoti et al. 2007).
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