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Climatic effects on the reproductive biology of Caiman latirostris (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae)

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Reproductive aspects, like number of nests produced per season or clutch size (number of eggs per nest), of broad-snouted caiman (Caiman latirostris) may be affected by a climatic variables such as rainfall and temperature. The success of caiman reproduction is not only affected by the amount of rainfall, but also by the time elapsed during which it takes place. In this study, we present evidence of a positive relationship between the number of nests produced and the amount of precipitation on the water heads (“Bajos Submeridionales”) during March. Surprisingly, there was not a significant relationship when considering local rainfall and temperature. During one event of El Niño phenomena the number of caiman nests was the highest in eight years of monitoring, besides a remarkable low number of nests were produced during La Niña. There was not a significant relationship between clutch size and rainfall or temperature. This information is useful for the ranching programs, because managers will be able to estimate, nine months in advance, the number of nests for harvesting. Another positive aspect is that this information can be used to establish nests' searching strategies, and number of eggs to incubate and hatchlings to raise. Thus, this will help planning management strategies in support of conservation efforts for the species during extreme climatic events.

Affiliations: 1: CIC y TTP, CONICET, Dr. Materi y España, 3105 Diamante, Entre Ríos, Argentina, Proyecto Yacaré – Laboratorio de Zoología Aplicada: Anexo Vertebrados (FHUC-UNL/MASPyMA), A. del Valle 8700, 3000 Santa Fe, Argentina;, Email: melinasimoncini22@yahoo.com.ar; 2: CIC y TTP, CONICET, Dr. Materi y España, 3105 Diamante, Entre Ríos, Argentina, Proyecto Yacaré – Laboratorio de Zoología Aplicada: Anexo Vertebrados (FHUC-UNL/MASPyMA), A. del Valle 8700, 3000 Santa Fe, Argentina, Facultad Cs. De la Alimentación, UNER-Facultad Cs. y Tecnología UAdER, Entre Ríos, Argentina; 3: INIBIOMA, CONICET – UNCOMA, Quintral 1250, 8400 Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina; 4: Proyecto Yacaré – Laboratorio de Zoología Aplicada: Anexo Vertebrados (FHUC-UNL/MASPyMA), A. del Valle 8700, 3000 Santa Fe, Argentina, Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias, UNL, Santa Fe, Argentina

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/content/journals/10.1163/017353711x571874
2011-08-01
2016-12-06

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