There is a world somewhere between reality and fiction. Although ignored by many, it is very real and so are those living in it. This forum is about the natural world. Here, wild animals will be heard and respected. The forum offers a glimpse into an unknown world as well as a room with a view on the present and the future. Anyone able to speak on behalf of those living in the emerald forest and the deep blue sea is invited to join.
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Black Caiman

Dark Jaguar Offline
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#61

Biologist Raphaella Coutinho

''Sometimes it's not pretty. It is the cycle of life. During a morning of monitoring wildlife we were eyewitnesses to life in motion in the dark waters of the Amazon. This Capybara in the photo was swimming distracted with her flock/group along the bank of the Madeira River, when a Black Caiman slaughtered it. This Black Caiman from South American is a top predator on the food chain and can reach 4.5 meters in length and over 300 kg. Probably due to our presence the black caiman gave up on its prey and we recorded the size of the bite which happened in seconds completely tearing off the mammal's entire front leg. We continued on to the field and hope that the black caiman had returned for its lunch.''



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Dark Jaguar Offline
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Manu River, southern Peruvian Amazon



Ian Fraser

''I estimated this huge caiman to be at least four metres long. Like the big crocodiles they are apex predators, though fish are their main prey. In recent years I've noted that Amazon lodges are increasingly banning swimming in their lakes; discreet enquiries by our guides have revealed some serious attacks on tourists which were not widely reported.''


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( This post was last modified: 06-04-2021, 07:08 AM by Dark Jaguar )

PREDATION CASE

Report of an Orphan Tapir rescued as a cub after its mother got predated by a Black Caiman.

Amazon

Year: 2001

Back in 2001 it aired on Globo Reporter here in Brazil an edition about the Amazon titled as ''The Last Frontiers of the Amazon'' with the mentioning of a Black Caiman predation on an adult female Tapir told by the people who rescued its cub, the orphan baby Tapir that was found in a lagoon.

Geovan Neves who is one of the people who took care of the orphan tapir summed up about the case at 22:08 min of the video link bellow as they also talk about the already grown up Orphan's lifestyle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUqlP3dCQ2w



Reporter - ''The (orphan) tapir was found 4 years ago in a lagoon when it was still a baby, it was abandoned cause it lost its mother.''


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Geovan Neves - ''The caiman preyed on its mother.''

Reporter - ''Was it a Black Caiman?''

Geovan Neves - ''Yes, it was a Black Caiman of around 4 meters long that have taken its mother, Then they brought it (tapir cub) to the inn here. We took care of it feeding it with bread, milk, banana...''


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''Despite docile the orphan Tapir still got wild habits, it spends all day in the forest it only comes to the inn at night to eat and to receive caress before returning to the wild.''

Geovan Neves -
''Ever since he was little he lost fear of humans and have been taken care of by us.''


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''Well fed and fed up with the caress. the animal go for a bath and enjoy the full moon, it was at this exact same river 4 years ago that the Black Caiman attacked and left him orphan, but he doesn't seem to care about danger, after the bath he returns back to the forest to meet his partner and continue the fight for the survival in the wilderness.''



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Orphan Tapir walking away by foot into the dense Amazon forest.


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Dark Jaguar Offline
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BLACK CAIMAN vs HUMAN CONFLICT.

Here's an interview with the Biologist and Researcher Adriana Malvasi talking about the case of human's remaining of an adult man being found inside a Black Caiman's stomach.



https://g1.globo.com/to/tocantins/notici...anos.ghtml



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Interviwer: It was really a surprising result and it was expected to be an animal found in the black caiman's belly but not a human in there, how was that possible ?

Adriana Malvasi: The Black Caiman is a top predator and these large animals can eventually prey on mammals of big sizes usually when these mammals are on the river banks. Its an aquatic animal but it can get out of the water to catch a prey and take it back to the water so staying very close to the banks in areas where there are black caimans is dangerous but another possibility is for example the drownings because the black caiman also consume chunks of preys that are already drowned so its also possible.


Interviwer:
Will the medical exam identify if the victim was already dead or if the black caiman provoked that death ?


Adriana Malvasi:
Its hard to happen black caiman preying on humans, normally its not part of their feeding habits but it is possible and eventually it can happen but these are rare cases as we got little reports of predation on humans, in this case it may have happened but also it might have been an accident with the person and then the black caiman came and dismembered the body which is part of the Black Caiman's habits and feeding behavior.

Interviewer: We're now on the drought season where the black caiman was killed and its a region that suffers alot with this drought issue and this affects the reproduction of the fishes, could it be the black caimans is lacking its natural preys ?


Adriana Malvasi:
Yes it could, it could be lacking its food but another thing that could be happening is that the caimans during rainy season or when there is little drought most of the times they will venture into the flooded areas towards the Igapós so they stay further into the forest where it floods but when you don't have enough floodings they will stay alot on the riverbed and sometimes the increase in numbers of caimans on the riverbed due to the little water within the forests may also increase the chances of accidents.


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Interviewer:
In this case the residents ended up killing the black caiman because they saw its belly was very big that could be the man that was missing. Is this an evironmental crime ? will this provoke even more environmental imbalance that could lead to even more deaths ?

Adriana Malvasi:
I know its hard, humans deal with emotions, feelings and everything but the black caiman is in its natural environment, its an aquatic animal, we are the ones going into their environments and we also gotta remember that these cases are very rare and in addition to that we don't really know what exactly happened, the person might have already been drowned and after that this case occured, its a possibility.


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Interviewer: We've recently had the case where a caiman emerged at a crowded beach, is there reasons for the bathers of the beaches of Luzimangues, Palmas, Graciosa, Prata... to be worried ?

Adriana Malvasi: Well, First the ideal would be to make a study of local ecology population, at least to count the number of black caimans per linear km of river to have an idea.

Interviwer: Has this count been done in the state ?

Adriana Malvasi: In some places yes, we are eventually called on partnership with environmental agencies and we do the counting of caimans in some rivers but in the specific case of Luzimangues beach we haven't done the count yet but its interesting to do so in order to find out if there's a bigger number than expected of caimans per km but the Tocantins river which is a natural environment of the Black Caiman people has to avoid venturing into deep waters and also by staying on river banks they gotta be really careful.


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Human remainings found in the Black Caiman's stomach.

GRAPHIC IMAGE


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Interviewer:
About its digestion, as we saw in the images (of the human remainings) the bones were smaller, it didn't look like human's bones, we wanted to believe it was remainings of another animal but as they were very reduced in size, is the digestion time of this animal that fast ?

Adriana Malvasi: Not necessarily, the digestion in reptiles overall is a more slower digestion especially cause they are ectotherms meaning they warm/heat their bodies with external light, with solar light (sunlight) unlike us humans as we do our digestion with the internal temperature with our metabolism hence why we keep a level of constant temperature whereas the caiman they warm up with the sunlight and chill (cool down) in the water, every animal like that got a more slower digestion and in this case it was impressive that the digestion occurred so fast, its not common.


*This image is copyright of its original author


Interviwer:
About the researches you have done by UFT, does it reveal any sort of change in behavior or some type of aggressiveness or a sort of imbalance that might be going on in the fauna ?

Adriana Malvasi:
Aggressiveness no, but we have registered last year that it had a big level of mortality of Caimans/Black Caimans due to the drought, and this is interesting because what may have happened was that probably the Caimans may have been trying to cross into another more flooded area and due to the intense drought their body overheated as they are ectotherms and then they have a physiological stop (inactive) due to the excess of temperature and many caimans died so this is interesting because this drought led the Caimans/Black Caimans to the riverbed and they may even be approaching beaches that they normally wouldn't.


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Dark Jaguar Offline
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#65

3.81 meters long wild Specimen from the Rupununi River weighing 200 kg Verified on a scale.




Rupununi Wildlife Research Unit


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Rupunini Learners

https://www.facebook.com/rupununilearner...jiDEl4sF9w

''Caiman House research team weighing a giant 12.5 foot (3.81m), 440 pound (200 kg) black caiman we captured recently as part of our ongoing long-term mark-recapture study of this species... Gathering data on population size, movement patterns and diet of this species in the Rupununi River is critical information for the management of this top predator... Thanks to our friend Ronald Nandlall for helping us 'Capture the Experience!'''


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I can only imagine the verified weights on scale of the large specimens of 4.8 m - 5 m+.
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Dark Jaguar Offline
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#66

Aerial view of a Big Specimen


credits: Jarismar Martins Ribeiro


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Dark Jaguar Offline
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#67

Man and Beast

photo: Pedro Guilherme

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Prehistoric Reptile


credits: rodrigo.c.g

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Dark Jaguar Offline
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#69

4.5 meters Powerful Specimen from Salvador Zoo (Northeast Brazil)

Crédits: Divulgação/Zoológico Salvador

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#70
( This post was last modified: 06-24-2021, 03:33 AM by Dark Jaguar )

Amazing sighting in Brazil.

VIDEO
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Dark Jaguar Offline
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#71

Black Caiman cub eating Piranha.


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Pckts Online
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#72


The menacing glare of the Amazonian river king ? ? - an absolutely MASSIVE Black caimán bull (Melanosuchus niger) stares us down as we observed him in awe. It was almost as if he was taunting while we sat in the “safety” of our canoe - saying “go ahead come a little closer, I haven’t had lunch yet today”. I don’t like to anthropomorphize or villainize wildlife, however this encounter felt different from anything I’ve experienced. As mentioned in my previous story, this was the first Black caiman I’ve observed that refused to move or flee, his only movement was when he would inflate himself with air to appear even more gigantic. Without exaggeration we estimated this living dinosaur to be all of 15-16ft (4m) from the snout to the tip of his tail. Once a Black caiman reaches this size, as they grow perpetually through their life, he rules the waters of the Amazon - not even a Jaguar, Giant otter family, or an adult female Green anaconda would dare mess with him. In fact they are all on his menu if they would happen to accidentally venture into his territory. This was easily one of the most impressive animals I’ve ever witnessed in person, even my guide and friend @ikeralvaro was shocked and said it was the largest caiman he’s ever seen; the Sani guides are usually jaded to the insane wildlife in their jungle. The photo actually doesn’t do his mass justice as I could hardly believe just how huge he was, his skull is heavily domed with an insanely powerful bite force that is almost incomprehensible. Funny enough their were butterflies on his head, a strange contrast of innocence and raw power, most animals in the rainforest crave salts, the colorful butterflies are drinking the salt from his tears. This animal commanded respect, and we gave it to him, Black caiman are the largest members of the family Alligatoridae, what a specimen!!!
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Metasuchus Offline
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#73

A picture of a dead 18 feet long Black Caiman taken in 1868 by Albert Frisch during his expedition to Amazon. It's snout rather long, similar to a Saltwater Crocodile.

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Dark Jaguar Offline
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#74

Caimans vs Fishermen at Lago do Rei

Summary of the the Scientific Study about the conflicts between Caimans and Fishermen in the Brazilian amazonic lakes more specific at Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei with cases of accidents involving Caimans in the Amazon with the Black Caiman species the most involved in conflicts being the one often seeing as Man-Eaters or Beasts by the locals, with accidents reported even on dry land away from the rivers.

For those interested in Black Caimans Its worth the read from top to bottom.

Support: DeepL Translator



ASSESSMENT OF THE CONFLICT BETWEEN FISHERMEN AND CAIMANS IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AREA “ILHA DO CAREIRO LAGO DO REI” - CENTRAL BRAZILIAN AMAZON.

Full Study in the Link bellow.

https://www.escas.org.br/images/produtos...EIRA.-.pdf


BY: DIOGO GATO GUIMARÃES

INSTITUTE OF ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH - IPE

YEAR: JULY 2019. NAZARÉ PAULISTA -SP


''In Brazil there are six species of crocodilians, popularly called caimans, belonging to the Alligatoridae family.  They are the Pantanal Caiman (Caiman yacare), Broad Snouted (Caiman latirostris), Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger), Cuvier's Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus),  Smooth-Fronted Caiman (Paleosuchus trigonatus), and the Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus). Of these species, the last four occur in the Amazon, making it the biome with the greatest diversity of the group worldwide (ROSS & Magnusson, 1987).

The Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) and the Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus) are the most common caimans in the floodable forests (várzeas and igapós) of the Brazilian Amazon (DA SILVEIRA et al., 1999).  

The Black Caiman (M. niger) is the largest member of the Alligatoridae with adult males exceeding 5 meters in length. The Spectacled caiman is a medium-sized animal with a maximum male length of 2.7 meters (Ayarzagüena, 1983).

The Hunting of Caiman in the Amazon was intense for decades, mainly for the leather market (SMITH, 1980). Caimans almost became extinct in Brazil due to the great pressure from hunters.  This activity was legal until the mid-1960s but was strictly forbidden after the Decree of Law 5197 on the Protection of Fauna (BRASIL, 1998). Scientific evidence indicates that in the decades following the ban, Caiman populations began to show signs of recovery (Antunes et al., 2016).

A similar situation is believed to have occurred with the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in the state of Florida, USA. A century ago, most Florida residents rarely saw an alligator and when they did, they stayed at a safe distance.  However Currently some Caiman attacks occur for various reasons mainly when people underestimate the animal and the danger it poses (CONOVER, 2002). According to Hines and Keenlyne (1977) early explorers of Florida reported that both they and the natives considered Caimans dangerous and took precautions to protect themselves from these animals. As Caiman populations recovered, these animals moved into suburban and urban lakes and waterways where they are in contact with humans on a daily basis (CONOVER, 2002).

Although the species of crocodilians found in Brazil are less aggressive than the individuals belonging to the Crocodylidae family (e.g. Crocodylus niloticuse C. porosus), there has been a remarkable increase in the number of cases of accidents involving humans and caimans in the state of Amazonas. ''



Attacks in the Amazon

''The 58 year old fisherman Sebastião Pinheiro Rozas was injured when he was attacked by a Black Caiman of approximately 4 meters long in the morning of Wednesday (24) in the Botafogo community located in Paraná de Paratari, rural area of Manacapuru, a municipality 103 kilometers from Manaus as the crow flies (acrítica.com, 25/10/2018).

In the Amazon Region, the attacks are mainly to fishermen when they dive to retrieve their fishing nets (HADDADet al., 2011). However, there are records of attacks on river dwellers in general who use the rivers for their different daily needs such as cooking, bathing, cleaning, leisure, etc., eventually becoming vulnerable. There is no quantitative data to reinforce the idea that attacks may be common in areas of high density of caimans and humans. (HADDADet at, 2011).''


Figure 01- Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) feeding on a Black Piranha (Serrasalmus, sp).

SOURCE: MICHAEL AND PATRICIA FOGDEN (MINDEN PICTURE).

*This image is copyright of its original author




Figure 02- Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus crocodilus).

SOURCE: HERPETOFAUNA.ORG

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AREA OF STUDY

Characterization of the area

''The study was conducted in the Environmental Protection Area "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", AM.(3º 09' 06.87'' S 59º 42' 29.66'' O), which is located in the municipality of Careiro da Várzea. The municipality is on the right bank of the confluence of the Solimões and Negro rivers, approximately 25 km in a straight line of the center of Manaus, Capital of the State of Amazonas.It is the first alluvial floodplain island after the meeting of the waters with approximately 41 km long and 17 km wide (SOUZA, 2014). ''


Figure 03- area of APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", AM.

SOURCE: GOOGLE EARTH

*This image is copyright of its original author



''It has a population of 37,384 inhabitants (IBGE, 2018). In the flood season, some residents start to cultivate their vegetable gardens on suspended beds (jirau), while others build floating structures (maromba) to shelter and move their animals to higher ground, which is not submerged by the water cycle.

The APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei" was created on July 20, 2001, by Municipal Law No. 0236/PMCV/2001. It has an approximate area of 450 km2 (Municipal Law No. 0236/PMCV/2001). The average annual temperature is 27o C and annual precipitation is about 2166 mm (CLIMATE-DATA.ORG). The rainiest months are from December to May, and the driest from August to November.

The area where the APA is located is annually flooded, with the formation of 62 lakes during the dry season, with emphasis on the Lago do Rei, which is the main lake in the region and an example of the importance of these lakes for the survival of its residents.''


Figure 06 - APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei" Area and its respective lakes.

SOURCE: Municipal Fishing Secretary of Careiro da Várzea, AM.

*This image is copyright of its original author




Figure 07 - Location of the Lago do Rei area.

SOURCE: GPS TrackMacker.

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''About 100 km2 during the flood season and forms a complex network of numerous smaller lakes during the dry season. It has a direct connection to the Amazon River through the igarapé do rei. During drought periods the average depth of the lake does not exceed 1 m, while during the flood the values can reach between 10 and 12 m deep. (ODINETZ-COLLART & MOREIRA1993).


According to the Fishermen and Fisherwomen Colony of Careiro da Várzea -ZF-53, the Rei Lake is the source of income and sustenance for many families due to its great fishing potential. There it is possible to find several species of fish like curimatã (Prochilodus nigricans), mapará (Hypophthalmus edentatus), pacu (Piaractus brachypomus), jaraqui (Semaprochilodus Taeniurus), tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum), pirarucu (Arapaima gygas), surubim (Pseudoplatyatoma fasciatum. ), among others, which are caught for consumption and later trade of the surplus.''


Figure 8-(A) Festival of Mapará (Hypophthalmus edentatus) at the Lago do Rei; (B) Local residents catching fish every day to support their families at the igarapé do rei, APA “Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei”, AM. (Amazonas).

PHOTO: DIOGO GATO GUIMARÃES

*This image is copyright of its original author



''The choice of the study area was due to the fact that the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei" contains all the environmental and social factors that truly indicate the existence of conflict between fishermen and caimans in the region, a theme that the research proposed to evaluate. The proximity between the APA and the port of Ceasa, in Manaus, was one of the factors that contributed to the choice of the study area, as well as the planning of data collection.''




COMMUNITY

''The floodplains along the Solimões/Amazon River have always been quite populated. Reports from chroniclers of expeditions prior to the Portuguese colonization reported the presence of villages with populations exceeding 100,000 individuals (FREITAS & BATISTA, 1999).''


Number of Communities the Study was conducted

''The study was conducted in 12 of the 22 communities that are inserted in the area of the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", and that live and maintain themselves with the resources extracted from there. They are: São Francisco, São José and N. S. da Conceição (Costa da Terra Nova); Cristo Rei (Lago do Rei); Marimba; N. S. Perpétuo Socorro, São Francisco do Charuto and Santa Luzia (Paraná Costa de Terra Nova); Careiro da Várzea (Sede); São Francisco e São Lázaro (Cambixe).''


Figure 09 - Location of the APA communities that were part of the study.

SOURCE: GOOGLE EARTH

*This image is copyright of its original author




INTERVIEWS

''Between November 2018 and January 2019, with the support of the Colony of Fishermen and Fisherwomen of Careiro da Várzea -ZF 53, the Municipal Secretariat of Fisheries and the City Hall of Careiro da Várzea, semi-structured interviews were conducted through questionnaires with the fishermen of the 12 communities that were part of the study.  

In total, 110 questionnaires were applied in 12 communities. The interviews were conducted individually with the fishermen, without external interference. All interviewees were previously informed about the objectives of the research and invited to participate by giving their consent through an informed consent form (Appendix 1). There was no uniformity in the number of questionnaires applied. These were applied according to the number of participants available.

The questionnaire addressed two issues in particular: 1-The profile of the local fisherman and how he carries out his activity within the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei". 2-The relationship with caimans and their consequences. ''


Figure 10-Application of the questionnaire to the fishermen.

PHOTO: DIOGO GATO GUIMAR

*This image is copyright of its original author




Figure 13- Cattle grazing on the banks of the Rei igarapé, Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei APA, AM.

PHOTO: DIOGO GATO GUIMARÃES

*This image is copyright of its original author






INTERVIEWS RESULTS

Description of the interaction and conflict between fishermen and caimans in the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei".


CAIMAN AND FISHERMEN INTERACTIONS

''The Caiman was identified as the animal that most negatively interacts with the fishing activity of the APA area “Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei”. Of the 110 fishermen interviewed, 92 (83.6%) stated that the conflict between fishermen and caimans in the lakes and streams of APA is high. ''





WHAT DO CAIMANS REPRESENT TO THE LOCALS

''When asked what the caiman represents, 43 (39%) interviewees answered threat, 38 (34%) danger, 17 (15%) loss, 8 (7%) fear, 2 (2%) income possibility, 1 (2%) problem, 1 (1%) food.  (Figure 14).''

Graph Bellow:


YELLOW: Threat (39%)

GREEN: Danger (34%)

BLUE: Loss (15%)

BROWN: Fear (7%)

DARK BLUE: Income (2%)

LIGHT GREEN: Problem (2%)

PURPLE: Food (1%)



*This image is copyright of its original author







MOST COMMON CAIMAN SPECIES IN THE REGION

''Regarding the occurrence of caimans in the region, 80 (72.7%) fishermen said that the Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) is the most common species, while 19 (17.3%) said the Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocrodilus crocrodilus), and 11(10%) could not answer. ''

Graph Bellow:


YELLOW: Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) (73%)

BLUE: Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocrodilus crocrodilus) (17%)

GREEN: Could not Answer (10%)



*This image is copyright of its original author








BLACK CAIMAN, THE SPECIES THAT IS MOST INVOVED IN ACCIDENTS.

''Among the interviewees, 78 (71%) indicated the Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) as the species that are most involved in conflicts. However, despite the problems they face, the fishermen see the caimans as a potential source of income.''


Figure 16- Individuals of Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) at Lago do Rei, APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", AM, during the dry season.

PHOTO: DIOGO GATO GUIMAR

*This image is copyright of its original author





SEASON WHEN CONFLICTS HAPPEN THE MOST

''The dry season was pointed out by 85 (77.27%) of the interviewees as the period of greatest conflict between fishermen and caimans in the lakes and streams (igarapés) of the APA (Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei).''


Flooded Season

''The fishermen reported that in the flood, due to the great expansion of the flooded area, a vast flooded plain emerges with different points for fishing and sometimes they can fish very close to their residence. It is a time of abundant water and fish. However, there are some challenges specific to this season such as the invasion of water inside the houses causing the residents to completely change their routine, difficulty in entering the igapós (flooded forest), the favorite feeding and breeding place for some fish that are and reproduction of some fish that are commercially valued, such as the Tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) for example, and also because of the proximity that the caimans have to fishermen's houses becoming a risk to children and pets.''


Dry Season

''During the dry season, the landscape changes completely. The large flooded area gives way to vast areas of land, some used for short-cycle farming, others for pasture. Several lakes also appear, some of which are difficult to access mainly because of the difficulty of entering them due to the low water level making it impossible for the fisherman to access a particular lake with his boat so that according to the fishermen themselves they have to walk long distances to reach the lake of their choice. However, these same lakes that attract fishermen due to the ease of catching different species of fish that are confined in the lakes, also end up attracting the attention of the caimans due to the easy availability of food.

In this sense, several reports from fishermen who live and work in the lakes and streams (igarapés) of the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei" exposed the dimension of the conflict with the caimans in the region which despite causing damages to the fishing equipment, they are involved in cases of accidents with humans, some of them very severe, and also in attacks on domestic animals.''




TYPES OF CONFLICTS BETWEEN HUMANS AND CAIMANS

''Regarding the types of conflicts existing between fishermen and caimans in the lakes and streams (igarapés) of the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", 59 (54%) fishermen pointed out the accidents with human beings as the most worrying conflict, 42 (38%) indicated the damages to fishing equipment, 7 (6%) the attacks on domestic animals and livestock and 2 (2%) by the change in the fishing location due to the densification of caimans in certain lakes especially during the dry season.''

Graph Bellow:


BLUE: Attacks on Domestic Animals and Livestock (6%)

YELLOW: Accidents with Humans (54%)

GREEN: Damages to the Fishing Equipment (38%)

ORANGE: The Change of the Fishing Location (2%)



*This image is copyright of its original author





CAUSES OF CONFLICTS

''When asked about the causes of conflict between fishermen and caimans, 82 interviewees indicated that the biggest cause of conflict 38 is the increase in the number of caimans in the region, 23 (21%) stated that it is the competition between fishermen and caimans for the fish confined in the lakes, 3 (3%) indicated that it is the low water level (dry season), while 2 (2%) said that the biggest cause of conflicts between fishermen and caimans is the growth of the human population in the region of the APA.''



ACCIDENTS

''When asked about accidents with caimans, 17 (15.4%) interviewees affirmed that they had already suffered some type of accident. For this, we established a graph that exposed the level of accidents reported by the fishermen. The levels of accidents were classified as: Light (superficial injuries, small scratches, bruises, damage to the boat and fishing equipment); Moderate (severe injuries, mainly in the upper and lower limbs, deformities from the accident); Severe (very serious injuries, generally causing amputations of the upper and/or lower limbs).


Level of Injuries on Accidents (Graph Bellow)

YELLOW: Light 58 % (superficial injuries, small scratches, bruises, damage to the boat and fishing equipment)

BLUE: Moderate 5% (severe injuries, mainly in the upper and lower limbs, deformities from the accident)

GREEN: Severe 37 % (very serious injuries, generally causing amputations of the upper and/or lower limbs)



*This image is copyright of its original author



''In this sense, 11 (58%) fishermen suffered minor accidents, 1 (5%) suffered moderate injuries, while 7 (37%) suffered severe accidents, These fishermen despite the difficulties imposed by the caiman accidents such as limb deformities or even amputations they continue their fishing journey even with all the challenges around them. It's a matter of survival.''





REGISTERS OF ACCIDENTS WITH THE BLACK CAIMAN.

"I was about to enter the bass, then I ran into him (the Black Caiman) with my rowing and he attacked me just when I was about to throw the fishing net.  Then he bit me. He threw me off the bow of the canoe, I fell halfway into the water and he "tied" me up again and bit me in two parts. From then on, I was rescued by my fellows. I got the SOS and ended up in Manaus and thank God I was lucky enough to get well".   Mr. Francisco Leite de Souza, 49 years old, resident of the community of Marimba, he had his back and part of his left rib and buttocks deformed due to an accident with a Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) in the Lagodo Rei in 2017 at 7:00 AM while he was setting up his fishing equipment.''




BLACK CAIMAN ACCIDENTS ON DRY LAND, AWAY FROM THE RIVERS.

''Out of the 19 accidents registered, 17 (94.1%) happened in Lago do Rei during the dry season while the fishermen were engaged in their daily fishing activities. 2 (5.9%) people had accidents on dry land while they were not fishing.''

''This happened in the São Francisco community in Costa de Terra Nova, a district of Careiro da Várzea where two women returning home from school at night on their bicycles collided with a large Caiman which according to neighbors and the husband of one of the victims, it was a Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) which was on the path where the residents travel daily. One of the women had her left leg torn off while the other had her right hand torn off.  According to André, the president of the São Francisco community (Costa de Terra Nova) and the husband of one of the victims, the accident occurred approximately 700 meters from the riverbank and a few meters from the houses of the community members.''




MOMENTS OF ACCIDENTS

''The Accidents happen in the most diverse ways, either because the fishermen accidentally touch the animal's back due to the low water level and it immediately reacts by throwing the fisherman out off the canoe, making an attack, or when they are removing their fishing equipment from the water or even when they are hunting on the banks of the lake or streams, This is often bad not only for the fisherman who has his catch and equipment damaged, but also for the caiman which by feeling attracted by the frenzy of fish caught in the mesh nets, it ends up suffering bad consequences.''




ANOTHER BLACK CAIMAN ATTACK

"I went out in the canoe slowly, paddling, paddling, and then I came across him (The Black Caiman). When I saw him, he hit the canoe and grabbed my leg and pulled me out of the canoe and dragged me. He dragged me about 20 meters down into the bottom, then they caught me.  The fellows grabbed me and pulled me up.'' Mr. Francisco das Chagas Conceição de Oliveira, 48 years old, community of Marimba, had part of his left arm deformed by the bite of a Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) that occurred in 1999 in the Mureru lake, one of the many that make up the island APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei".

''55 (50%) of the interviewees affirmed that the caimans suffer some kind of reprisal.  18 (16.36%) reported killing the animal out of fear or anger, due to the damage caused to the fishing equipment.''




Figure 20- Concentration of Black Caimans (Melanoshucus niger) at Lago do Rei, APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", AM, during the dry season.

PHOTO: DIOGO GATO GUIMARÃES

*This image is copyright of its original author




Figure 21- Dead female Black Caiman (Melanoshucus niger) 15 meters from the bank of the igarapé do rei, APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", AM, during the dry season.

PHOTO: DIOGO GATO GUIMARÃES

*This image is copyright of its original author





DISCUSSION

''The fishing activity practiced in the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei" is called artisanal, because they use very rudimentary utensils as working tools, similar to what was observed in other riverside communities of central Amazonia (FREITAS & BATISTA, 1999).

The damages resulting from the conflict with the caimans were well defined. The greatest interferences were explained by predation, where the animal comes into contact with fishermen during their daily journey and it steals their captured fish and in some cases they end up getting caught in the fishing nets which can cause accidents. In many rivers of the Amazon such as the Juruá River the Caimans regularly attack the mesh nets placed by commercial fishermen to capture fish more easily and in this process cause severe damage leaving fishing equipment often irreparable (PERES & CARKEEK, 1993).

Future programs aimed at mitigating the conflict between fishermen and caimans in the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei" should take into consideration the high average age and low level of education. New strategies such as the training of fishermen, access to credit that could guarantee the purchase of more resistant fishing equipment at a lower cost and the existence of a cold storage chamber to store the surplus fish would greatly reduce the losses that the fishermen of the region constantly go through.''




INTERACTION X CONFLICT

''Because most of their diet is composed of fish, the conflict between caimans and fishermen is practically inevitable. One can observe throughout the Caiman's diet an increase of larger prey (Crabs, Turtles, Birds, Reptiles and Mammals) as the individuals increase in size (POOLEY, 1990).

According to the fishermen, the caimans are harming the fishery in different ways: through predation, causing decreased fish availability; scaring fish away from the fishing grounds due to the presence or passage of Caimans; feeding on fish caught in the mesh nets and damaging fishing equipment. These conflicts do not only happen with Caimans, similar reports have also been reported with Giant Otters (Pteronura brasilienses) (ROSAS-RIBEIRO, 2012). According to Botero-Arias (2007), water seasonality environments can generate changes in the behavior and activity of Crocodilian species.

The Caiman is not seen with good eyes by most fishermen, being considered by 39% of the interviewees as a threat, mainly due to the fact that it is a large predator and at certain times, competes with them for territory and food, thus generating a worrying relationship for both sides.

This negative perception about this important animal is because the fishermen consider it a danger to the population and to fishing activity, due to the losses with fish, the damage to fishing equipment, and to the 46 accidents that occur with people and livestock. Something similar was observed by ZUCCO, 2004, in fishing communities in the Pantanal.''




LOCALS POINT OF VIEW ABOUT THE BLACK CAIMAN

''The Black Caiman, being the largest species of caimans we have in Brazil has a bad reputation among the locals who live on the riverbanks. Often seen as beasts and man-eaters. Something similar was described by HADDAD et al, 2011).

The Black Caimans according to the fishermen of the APA are the ones that cause the most damage and are the most involved in accidents with humans in the region. The Black Caiman can attack humans in unusual situations and are large enough to feed on a 40 kg capybara. Small humans can therefore become prey HADDAD et al, 2011).''





DAMAGE OF BLACK CAIMAN'S ATTACK

''The Black Caiman can cause Death or Serious Injury through Physical Trauma, Blood Loss and Severe Secondary Infections (especially in attacks by Large Specimens) (RAYNOR et al, 1983; FLANDRAY et al, 1989).''''





LOCALS OPINION ON A POSSIBILITY TO CONTROL THE CAIMAN POPULATION IN THE APA (Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei)

''When asked about the possibility of managing the caimans in the APA, together with the government and other stakeholders, the 48 interviewees are mostly in favor of management, as a way to control the caiman population and mitigate the existing conflicts.  In this sense it is quite evident the concern of fishermen and residents in general about Caimans since today the legislation does not allow them to slaughter (kill) the animal, just as there is no financial compensation from the government for any loss or damage arising from this conflict. This idea, which in other countries, is widely adopted in cases of conflict between otters and fishermen (FREITAS et al, 2007; KLOSKOWSKI, 2005).''






CONCLUSION

''As in many regions of Brazil and the world, the fishermen of the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei" go through various difficulties and a worrying economic situation. For them, the damage resulting from the relationship with the caimans tends to aggravate the situation even more.

In this sense the caimans are held responsible for the damage caused to the fishing equipment and the fish caught. This can often lead to the death of the animal, either by drowning, by getting caught in the mesh nets, or by anger of the fishermen for having their equipment damaged.

The management of socio-environmental conflicts requires the joint work of different actors in society, such as local residents, researchers, public administrators, and NGOs, among others.

The possibility of commercially slaughtering caimans and the development of ecotourism are options that should be considered.

In this sense, we strongly recommend that any management plan to be implemented in the future in the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", should take into consideration the results exposed here, besides encouraging the participation of fishermen and other local residents in decision making. The effectiveness in the management of this conservation unit is essential so that the scenarios of conflicts between fishermen and caimans are investigated and mitigated. We also affirm that, unlike other UC models, the recategorization of the APA "Ilha do Careiro Lago do Rei", shows itself as an interesting alternative for the region, so that the model to be implemented contributes to the empowerment of the people who live there, assuming the human being as the main actor in the actions of conservation and preservation of the environment.

This dissertation highlights the importance of expanding the studies on the conflicts between humans and wild animals, especially the amazonian caimans in order to minimize the problems arising from this interaction and to ensure the survival of the species and the ecosystem to which it belongs.''
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