WASHINGTON (CN) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife has removed Morelet’s crocodile from the Endangered Species List because farming efforts have reduced the threat to crocodile’s in the wild.
The crocodile remains endangered under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to which the United States is a signatory.
The crocodile, which was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act in 1972, is endemic to fresh water habitats along the Gulf of Mexico, from southern Mexico to Guatemala.
At the time of listing, the crocodile was endangered by habitat destruction and exploitation through the commercial trade in crocodile skin.
Because the species is not endemic to the United States, its protection under the act was limited to a ban in the import or export of live animals, the skin from the carcass, or products made from crocodile’s skin.
In 2005, the government of Mexico petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the Morelet’s crocodile, arguing that conservation efforts, including farming operations to produce skins for luxury products, made bans on trade unnecessary for the species to survive in the wild.
The rule is effective June 22.