Manuel Merchán, professor of the Biology School at IE University and General Coordinator of the Chelonia Foundation, has coordinated the project “Conservation of the Orinoco crocodile in the Eastern Llanos of Colombia” during February and March, 2011.
The project is being carried out in the Vichada, Casanare and Arauca Departments, and is focused on the biology and conservation status of the “Caimán Llanero”, the most threatened crocodilian in the world according to IUCN. Merchán has led the fieldwork in the Vichada and Meta rivers basins, with encouraging results: new localities have been recorded for the species.
The project is promoted by Corporinoquia (Colombia), the Biodiversity Foundation (Environment Ministry, Spain) and the Endowment Fund for Biodiversity (France). An official public presentation of the project was carried out last March 2010 at the IE University. Chelonia Foundation and IE University signed a cooperation agreement last December for developing conservation projects as well as specialized training of students in wildlife management and conservation.