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Assessment of human–crocodile conflict in Mexico: patterns, trends and hotspots areas

García-Grajales, Jesús, Buenrostro-Silva, Alejandra
Marine & freshwater research 2019 v.70 no.5 pp. 708-720
coasts, crocodiles, humans, public safety, risk, risk reduction, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico
An understanding of the factors, patterns of activities and seasonality per region that shape the response to the human–crocodile (HC) conflict in Mexico by humans is essential for prevention and mitigation of negative interactions. We compiled the publicly available data on incidents of crocodile attacks on the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican Pacific coast from January 2000 to the first days of January 2018. Of the recorded unprovoked crocodile attacks (n=149) on humans in Mexico, 102 cases correspond to the Mexican Pacific coast and 47 to the Gulf of Mexico. The age of victims involved in the majority of the attacks ranged from 19 to 40 years old. Three municipalities of high risk (hotspots areas) were Puerto Vallarta, Lázaro Cárdenas and Pinotepa Nacional in the Mexican Pacific coast, whereas, in the Gulf of Mexico, only Bénito Juárez was of high risk. To mitigate this conflict, it is necessary that local authorities in the municipalities (mainly in those of high risk) establish public-safety programs with the goal of raising awareness of the risk of crocodile attacks on the basis of information status and distribution of the crocodile population, linked to the extent of HC conflicts, as a first step for better management and risk mitigation.