Quadrats were made in El Salado Estuary, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, México. An area of m 2 was covered, burrows of C. crassum. Author: Smith, Family: Gecarcinidae. Synonyms: Cardisoma latimanus. Photography: Arthur Anker. Scientific data: Coiba National Park, Panama. WoRMS. Cardisoma Crassum. Due to a lapse in appropriations, the majority of USGS websites may not be up to date and may not reflect current.
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Mangroves are found within the intertidal cardispma of tropical and subtropical coasts, as this is a transitional ecosystem between marine and coastal environments.
These areas consist of mangrove forests, marshes, estuaries, canals, lagoons, beaches and islands, whose ecological interactions constitute a number of abiotic and biotic components throughout the ecosystem. In addition to their ecological role, mangrove forests fulfill many economic, cultural and social functions. Several communities are situated on the banks of mangroves, and these people engage in activities dependent on mangroves, such as fishing and gathering shellfish.
Also, mangroves have been ancestral sources of food supply, used for charcoal and salt extraction, timber and firewood, tannins, medicinal herbs, and recreational activities cardidoma tourism. The destruction of the mangrove forests in the Chone River Estuary, due to pollution and change in land use mangrove forest and salt ponds for the installation of shrimp industryhas caused deteriorated living conditions for families whom have lived off of the ecosystem for many generations.
WoRMS – World Register of Marine Species – Cardisoma crassum Smith,
The main problems faced by crssum families are:. For example, before the shrimp industry took over, on average shell Anadara similis and Anadara turberculosa were collected per day, which currently less than 50 shells are collected per day.
Similar situations exist with other species, such as crabs, in estuarine fisheries. The contamination of estuarine waters generated throughout the watershed garbage, sewage, agrochemicals from agriculture, livestock and chemicals from the shrimp industryhas intensified the presence of diseases affecting communities doing their artisanal fishing and gathering practices in the estuary.
In Ecuador, mangroves, estuaries, rivers and beaches are national assets for public use, and the law decrees free passage in these areas. Within the mangroves, there are transit easements and paths that have been traveled ancestrally. Currently, cardisona shrimp industry prevents fishermen from entering due to the placement of armed guards, dogs and electric wire, which affects the right to free movement in public spaces, when in reality community livelihoods depend on this territory.
Their main activities include:. Due to the degradation of the mangrove ecosystem within the estuary, and continued shrimp industry activities which occupy almost the entire area that was historically mangroves and crassum ponds, it is difficult to conduct a thorough restoration process; However, the FIDES Foundation and local communities implement restoration processes in certain areas through red cardizoma reforestation Rhizophora mangleand recovery of mangrove species such as shell Anadara similis crqssum Anadara tuberculosa and mouthless crab Cardisoma crassum.
As mangrove destruction has caused a decrease or extinction of a number of crassim species, including fish, clam, and crabs, that are an important source of food and income for local communities, community tourism creates an alternative activity that generates income for these communities, and allows these communities to maintain their connection with mangroves.
As a major alternative for economic, community tourism plays both a social and environmental crassuk, as it provides an income to crasdum and avoids pressure on the reduced resources found within the ecosystem. FIDES works with schools in the assessment and recovery of ancestral knowledge of mangrove people, through training workshops in schools and colleges, and related events, such as drawing competitions, speech contests, murals, among other activities.
Within the activities for ecological restoration of mangrove ecosystems falls the recovery of the mouthless crab Cardisoma crassuman important species that serves as food for families and forms part of commercial activities in community tourism. The mouthless crab Cardisoma crassum is a species of terrestrial crab from Family Acrdisomawith a bluish purple carapace, claws, and red legs.
Mouthless Crab (Cardisoma crassum) ·
Unlike others, the mouthless crab is not able to stay submerged in water for long periods of time. It is terrestrial and live in J-shaped burrows which are one or two meters deep, built in drier soils within mangrove forests and in transition areas of humid or dry forests, as long as there is a brackish water source nearby. In addition to serving as food for other animals, the mouthless crab helps conserve the mangrove ecosystem, as it accelerates the decomposition of organic matter during feeding.
It works as a catalyst and regenerator of wetland plant communities, especially in mangrove and tropical humid ecosystems.
Even so, similar to other species in mangrove forests, the survival of the mouthless crab is negatively affected by mangrove destruction and overexploitation.
The capture or harvest of the mouthless crab is an open-access artisanal activity, which generates income and serves as a food source for people in fishing communities that share these mangrove areas. In the Chone River estuary, the mouthless crab population has declined drastically in recent decades, mainly due to the mangrove deforestation by the shrimp farming industry, which has also led to the disappearance of a number of species in the estuary.
For this reason, community organizations in the Chone River estuary have worked towards the conservation, management and sustainable commercialization of the mouthless crab, and to carry out activities to increase local species populations in situ. The mouthless crab is protected by a closed season twice a year, during which the capture and consumption of this species is prohibited. Ministerial Agreementpublished in the Official Gazette from March 3, August 15 to September Occurs during the crab growth period, when these crabs molt their carapace for a larger one.
As additional measures, it is prohibited to catch crabs with sizes smaller than 7. Ministerial Agreement of January 13, Starting inefforts to increase mouthless crab populations were started by community organizations in the Chone River estuary, the process comprising of the following:.
An initial assessment is made to determine if the site meets the basic conditions needed for normal crab development and to establish a baseline of the quantity and condition of existing crab populations in site.
The basic conditions necessary include that the site is located near a body of water and has plants used for food by crabs, such as romero Sesuvium portulacastrumstraw Cyperus rotundusranconcha Acrostichum aureum and others. Then, the baseline is established using indirect methods, by which the number and status of burrows are verified to indirectly estimate the density, structure and biomass of the population. The disadvantage of this indirect method is that you cannot identify the sex ratio of crabs.
Part of a quadrant used for indirect sampling in Community Portovelo. In order to reintroduce new individuals to an existing population, crab individuals are captured in estuaries with similar conditions to the estuary where the reintroduction is to be done. Crabs must be maintained in a corral for at least 3 days and fed so as to complete a process of internal cleansing.
Before reintroducing crabs in any given site, crab characteristics are recorded for each individual: Before reintroducing crabs in their new site, temporary artificial burrows are created with a one meter depth so that the crabs can use them until they are able to make their own burrows or choose to stay in the artificial one. The first monitoring is performed three days after repopulation, one monitoring in the second month after the repopulation, and then monitoring every three months thereafter.
A direct monitoring is performed on site, collecting all the dead crabs found at the site, to identify the percentage of deaths by sex.
One xardisoma after repopulation, the second monitoring is performed by the indirect method with the same procedure as was used to collect baseline data.
The goal is to see an increase in the number of active burrows. Quarterly monitoring is performed using direct trapping methods, where wooden traps are placed the evening before the monitoring day.
The trap contains food bait to lure the crabs in. The total number of traps depends on the size of the site, and the traps are somewhat randomly placed, considering only the size of burrows and location cardusoma burrows.
Trap placed beside a burrow the evening before the monitoring day. The next morning, the trapped crabs are checked and relevant information is recorded for each specimen size, sex, carapace color, if female has eggs and burrows size, texture prints.
Measuring mouthless crab individuals trapped during monitoring. This process is accompanied by training and education of families that harvest the mouthless crab, and stresses the importance of sustainable management and enforcement of existing regulations. The scientific information available on the mouthless crab is very limited. As a pilot project, these processes include the use of both ancestral knowledge from communities, and scientific knowledge from professionals.
There has not yet been an assessment of the results; however, quarterly monitoring suggests an increase in population density in the reintroduction sites and in other areas due to crab movement, or individuals seeking new breeding sites. The first results of this pilot project will be available Decemberwhich will be shared when available. The process of ecological restoration of mangrove ecosystems in the Chone River estuary first requires a cfassum of activities to reduce the main causes of deterioration, including mangrove restoration, which allows for the recovery of optimal conditions to recuperate the productive capacity of the ecosystem and its ecological functions.
It is unlikely that current policies and authorities are able to resolve all of the issues highlighted above in the short term; however, it is important to promptly initiate actions for ecosystem restoration.
It is particularly important to empower families who harvest crabs, especially in the reintroduction and monitoring of the mouthless crab. Growing participation in these families allows for the following:. In addition to their significant ecological role, mangrove habitats fulfill important economic, cultural, and social functions for the various communities cardioma on the banks of estuaries.
An important example of this is the recovery of the Mouthless crab in situ, in a process that combines ancestral knowledge and practices with new technical knowledge.
The case study shows an ongoing pilot project that is generating positive results for the recovery of the mouthless crab. Her experience includes working with local rural communities in strengthening community organizations and economic activities, protected areas management, and mangrove ecosystem restoration. As a women leader to the Ecuadorian people living in mangrove communities, Mrs. Napa works in community tourism, and promotes organizational strengthening and mangrove restoration activities in communities.
At present, she is President of the National Coordinating Corporation for the Defense of Mangrove Ecosystems, which is a network comprised of organizations of artisanal fishermen, gatherers and members of the Council of the International Mangrove Network. A strong, above ground root system stabilizes the shoreline by reducing erosion by providing protection from waves and tides Protective barrier coasts: Cardislma dense and tall canopy acts as a barrier, fardisoma protects against storms and hurricanes Filtration: Mangroves capture sediments and toxic substances contributing to water filtration before entering the ocean from the rivers Desalination: Reduce the salinity of water entering mainland Source of organic matter: Produce leaf litter and export biomass Stabilizes microclimates: Produce oxygen and capture a high quantity of carbon dioxide from the air Reproductive zone: A woman gathering mangrove clams.
Fishing in the estuary. Drassum registration before repopulate of crabs. Making artificial burrows artificiales.
Crab entering an artificial burrow. Dead crab found three days after repopulation. Crabs caught in the monitoring traps. A boy returning the crab to its respective burrow. Google Map link to region.