The nesting, swimming, & recreational zone of the areas endemic species including the river crocodile have been severely impacted in the last year due to the contruction activities done by the local hotels around the bank of the Ameca River.
Witnessing the removal of stone in a zone that the Environment & Natural Resources Secretariat has assigned as a river crocodile habitat, a protected species under the official Mexican laws; NOM-059 SEMARNAT-2001, experts in crocodile management are certain that many species have been affected. Environmental federal authorities will verify if an Environmental Impact Report was issued and if the construction underway is complying with its conditions.
Armando Rubio, an expert in crocodile management in the area confirmed that before doing any kind of work, a Environmental Impact Assessment issued by SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) is required, so that the location of the construction zone is defined and environmental solutions can help extenuate the impact to natural resources. He added that other species can be found in the zone in question including the green iguana, black iguana (known locally as garrobo), snakes, turtles, fish, birds and lizards and all of these should be included in the Environmental Impact Assessment.
Highlighting that the Ameca River (largest in the Bay area) has had tons of material removed. Armando also commented that constant traffic of construction vehicles is seriously affecting the zone, especially during nesting season with the destruction of whole nests and harmful noises having a negative impact in the reproduction of these reptiles.
The spokesperson told us, they have trailed the area and have found that countless species inhabit the area, and in recent years, with the hotel’s construction, drastic changes have occurred, pushing the crocodiles to look for new nesting sites. The crocodile population has been maintained at roughly 200, but the construction and encroachment on their breeding grounds have caused them to look for other sites for food and reproduction often in more habited areas.
By Noemí Zamora, Tribuna
Translated by Carlos Soto