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Predicting total lengths of spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) from skin measurements: A tool for managing the skin trade

Webb, Grahame J. W., Brien, Matthew L., Manolis, Charlie and Medrano-Bitar, Sergio (2012). Predicting total lengths of spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) from skin measurements: A tool for managing the skin trade. Herpetological Conservation and Biology,7(1):16-26.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID 82057923xPUB432
Title Predicting total lengths of spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) from skin measurements: A tool for managing the skin trade
Author Webb, Grahame J. W.
Brien, Matthew L.
Manolis, Charlie
Medrano-Bitar, Sergio
Journal Name Herpetological Conservation and Biology
Publication Date 2012
Volume Number 7
Issue Number 1
ISSN 1931-7603   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-84861994419
Start Page 16
End Page 26
Total Pages 11
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher Herpetological Conservation and Biology
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Colombia uses a closed-cycle captive breeding program for producing Caiman crocodilus (mostly C. c. fuscus) skins for export. Skin size limits are used as a regulatory measure to exclude illegal wild-caught adults entering legal trade. However, the size limits employed were not well defined by morphological endpoints, and the degree of shrinkage between raw and processed skins was not well grounded in science. Thus, trimming and cutting of skins to meet market demand makes compliance with the limits problematic. We examined the relationship between C. crocodilus total length (TL) in freshly culled animals and the size of whole skins and skin pieces at different stages of preservation and tanning (raw wet-salted, wet blue, crust, and finished leather) in 276 farm-raised C. crocodilus (423–2,210 mm TL). We present formulae for accurately predicting the TL of Caimans from which whole skins or skin pieces originated. To account for tail tip amputations, we used standardized total length (TLST). The results provide resource agencies in Colombia better tools for establishing meaningful size limits, and provide the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) with a better mechanism for assisting Colombia with compliance. This approach may have application to the regulation of other species of reptile in trade, where size limits are part of the regulatory procedures.
Keywords Caiman crocodilus
Colombia
Management
Prediction
Regression
Skins
Trade
Description for Link Link to published version
URL http://herpconbio.org/Volume_7/Issue_1/Webb_etal_2012.pdf


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