Do you want to be a Crocstar!?
Now you might be asking yourself, what is a Crocstar? Well, a Crocstar is someone who loves wildlife and wants to help support crocodile conservation!
Once a year a group of Reptile Professionals with the support of AAZK San Diego, throw a fundraiser called Croctober Fest. Each year we spotlight a different crocodile species in need, and raise money to help fund conservation and research efforts. This year, Croctober Fest will benefit American Crocodiles!
The American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) is the only crocodile native to the United States. They share their range down in the southeast of the U.S. with their cousins the American Alligator. Even though they are mostly found in Florida they can also be found in southern Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Their main habitats are mangrove swamps and estuaries which are hotspots for warm brackish (partial salt) water. Even though they prefer fresh and brackish water, they will venture into the ocean every so often. The American crocodile is vulnerable in nearly all parts of its North, Central, and South American range. Although survey data is minimal (except in the United States), there are estimated to be around 2,000-3,000 individuals between Florida and Mexico. Conservationists agree that illegal hunting and habitat depletion has reduced populations of this wide-ranging reptile to critical levels.
It is important to support research and conservation performed outside of the United States, which is why this year’s proceeds will go to the Crocodile Research Coalition in Belize. The Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC) is a Belize-based nonprofit, established in January 2016, that seeks to preserve crocodiles and their environments throughout Central America and the Caribbean to ensure the long-term sustainability of biodiversity in the region. They work with local communities and partner organizations to empower people with the knowledge of co-existence and sustainable practices to ensure the survival of crocodiles and well-being of the communities that live beside them. Their outreach also incorporates working with the local and national governments, utilizing their research to better inform policy decisions regarding wildlife and their habitat. Their projects range satellite tracking American Crocs to better understand their range, collecting population counts, researching how humans are impacting American Crocodile behavior and even rehabilitating and releasing injured crocs.
Become a Crocstar! Your donation will help them continue their amazing work. It is essential to support nonprofits such as the CRC. Without stable populations of keystone predators such as American Crocodiles, our ecosystem as a whole suffers. It is our responsibility as humans to make sure we help the future of all crocodile species. After all, they have been on this earth for over 100 million years, longer than humans have and even some dinosaurs! Please consider donating as every dollar counts!
In addition, if you are in the San Diego Area on October 17, 2019, please join us for Croctober Fest. The event will be held at Bay City Brewery, 3760 Hancock St, San Diego, CA 92110. Feel free to share the link to family and friends.
Thank you for your support!