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Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) at the University of the West Indies

The Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), a department at the University of the West Indies (UWI), complements the agenda of the university by providing knowledgeable and capable decision-makers for the sustainable development of the Caribbean. The mission of ISD is to increase capacity through teaching, research, innovations, and partnerships to create a Caribbean that is more resilient and sustainable.

The research project that was funded by the Jamaica Conservation Partners was led by MPhil student, Treya Picking, and supervised by Dr. David Smith, the ISD coordinator and Director of the Center for Environmental Management at the UWI.


Country-wide survey of the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) in Jamaica

2020 – 2023

The University of the West Indies (UWI) in collaboration with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) and the University of Florida’s Croc Docs conducted a country-wide crocodile survey over a 24-month period to determine the population and habitat status of the American crocodile in Jamaica.

The goal of the project was to create an effective conservation action plan to protect the population of the American crocodile in Jamaica.

Two country-wide surveys were completed per year at natural and man-made habitats across the north and south coasts of Jamaica. The first phase of the project involved preliminary assessments of crocodiles and crocodile habitats. Following this, phase two of the project focused on assessing the type, size, state, and potential threats to the crocodile habitat, while phase three involved an evaluation of the status of the population and the health of individual American crocodiles.

The project aimed to:
1. Determine the distribution, abundance, and condition of the American crocodile in Jamaica.
2. Determine the suitability of habitats for the American crocodile in Jamaica.

To achieve the first objective, the team obtained an estimate of relative abundance using encounter rates. The team also identified the areas where crocodiles live, the habitats they use there, and the crocodiles’ movements between those areas. In addition to determining each crocodile’s body condition, the team determined the population’s size and sex composition. The location of crocodile nesting areas were found, and the success of nesting was evaluated.

To achieve the second objective, the team categorized wetland habitats according to their size, present state, level of threat, and type (such as coastal, inland, pond, river, natural, or man-made). Following this assessment, a decision was made as to which habitats need to be designated as protected areas or Crocodile Conservation Units (CCUs).


To learn more about The Institute for Sustainable Development, please use the following links:
Website: http://www.uwi.edu/isd/contact
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/treyaann/

Project Location:  Islandwide

Area of Intervention
• Conservation of Jamaica’s Natural Environment
• Sustainable Environmental Development


All donations are managed by the board of trustees of the C.B. Facey Foundation and the Jamaica Conservation Partners.

All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Friends in the United States will also receive tax-deductible benefits by making a donation through the American Friends of Jamaica website payable to the Friends of The C.B. Facey Foundation.