Black caiman by Bernard Dupont

Black caimen

The black caiman is found over quite an area (see map) and is considered low risk – but also conservation dependent, suggesting that its status could change fast with the wrong regulations. It is thought to have a population of greater than 1 million. It was once considered common, but was hunted to near extinction (for its skin), before rules allowed its recovery. Current threats include low level hunting by local people, (though this is thought sustainable provided no further pressure) habitat loss due to deforestation and increased competition from Spectacled caiman which are making a comeback.

It is found throughout the amazon basin. Generally occurring in shallow, freshwater habitats such as slow-moving rivers, streams and lakes, though found to ventures into flooded savannah and wetlands as well.

They grow up to 5m which makes them large compared to many other caiman species. Being black gives it fantastic camouflage when hunting which usually occurs at night, though it may also allow better absorption of heat.

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