Cuvier’s dwarf caiman is classified as Lower Risk/least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
It is listed on CITES Appendix II.
Red List Category & Criteria: Lower Risk/least concern ver 2.3
Year Published: 1996
Date Assessed: 1996-08-01
Countries: Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Paraguay; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela
Cuvier’s dwarf caiman is a freshwater species native to tropical northern and central South America. It is found in forested riverine habitats and areas of flooded forest around lakes. It seems to prefer rivers and streams with fast-flowing water but is also found in quiet, nutrient-poor waters. It is able to travel quite large distances overland at night and individuals have sometimes been found in isolated, temporary pools.
Cuvier’s dwarf caiman seems relatively tolerant of cool water compared to other species of crocodile.
Adult Cuvier’s dwarf caiman feed on fish, crabs, shrimps, molluscs, and other invertebrates, which they catch in the water or, on land. Juveniles eat fewer fish but also consume crustaceans as well as land invertebrates such as beetles. They have short, backward-curved teeth, which are particularly suited to taking invertebrates such as crustaceans.
Threats for Cuvier’s dwarf caiman come from habitat destruction, and pollution (for example, through gold mining activities). Collection for the pet trade has reduced population densities in local areas of some countries. Despite extensive survey data regarding population status, little is known about the biology and ecology of this species, and further research is required.
Est. wild population: More than 1,000,000
Main conservation threats: Habitat destruction, pollution and collection for the pet trade