On August 23rd the National Crocodile Day was commemorated, with the purpose of making the population aware of the importance of conserving what today are the largest reptiles on Earth, and which have survived for 240 million years, of which in Puerto Vallarta there are approximately 300 specimens.
Councilman Cecilio Lopez Fernandez, president of the commission for the Promotion of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, indicated that due to the invasion of their habitat at the mouth of the Ameca River, they have migrated up the tributary and taken over the plots of land in the proximities of Ixtapa, Las Juntas and Paso del Guayabo.
He pointed out that in the sessions of the Municipal Council for Agricultural Development, they brought up the subject: "The part of Ixtapa and Las Juntas were complaining that there were already many crocodiles, they call them lizards, and what they were asking was that the municipal authority take them and slaughter them".
But he discarded that measure: "We as Municipal Government do not have the authority to do that, that depends on SEMARNAT, they are protected species, because it is stated that they are in danger of extinction worldwide".
He recalled that the ejidatarios and the sub-director of Municipal Environment, Helios Hernández, toured the area. Faced with the invasion of their land, the farmers have asked to exterminate the crocodiles, saying that before the children used to play there or go swimming; they have even had to stop using watering holes because of the risk of them attacking the livestock.
"We are already located in a place of the Ameca River, where the same inhabitants and ejidatarios, tell us that in life there had never existed these colonies of crocodiles there, and of good magnitude crocodiles of 3 or 4 meters, located in a quantity of groups of 10 for example, it is surprising, they are images that I had only seen in Animal Planet, in other places of Africa", he expressed.
The councilman reiterated his surprise for the high number of crocodiles: "There the situation is difficult, we as municipal government, or whoever is in charge, cannot sacrifice, the only thing they can do is to relocate these species. It is presumed that it is due to the large amount of work being done by Vidanta, because even on the other side everything is already fenced off".
Cecilio López emphasized that their migration has modified the economic and recreational activity of the inhabitants, due to the danger. He recognized that the situation is difficult, to adapt to this new reality, which requires public policies from all levels of government.
The mayor indicated that in addition to taking over the Ameca River, crocodiles are also seen in other parts of the Bay, such as El Cuale, El Pitillal and even Los Muertos beach.
He warned that the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Semarnat, is responsible, and that the Municipality has done its part, relocating the animals, but they do not have enough effort, personnel and equipment.