The yacare caiman (Caiman yacare) is a reptile from South America and 1 of the 2 crocodilian species present in Argentina. The degradation of their natural habitat and strong hunting pressure led to a sharp numerical decline of wild populations. Nowadays, C. yacare is included in Appendix II of CITES, and ranching practices in some areas in Argentina are helping hatching success. In this context, it is important to better understand the population structure and mating system of the species. To do this, we amplified 10 microsatellite markers (SSRs) in 148 individuals of 13 C. yacare nests. All of the markers were polymorphic with 2–12 alleles per locus, with allelic sizes ranging between 154 and 400 bp and medium levels of polymorphism (Ho = 0.152–0.551 and He = 0.221–0.621). We were able to determine the maternal genotype in 9 out of 13 nests. In 6 of them we found more than 1 paternal genotype, with a maximum of 3 fathers for a single nest. This study is the first to provide evidence of multiple paternity behavior. These findings will be useful to improve management and conservation strategies for the species.

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