Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia
Bringing back crocodiles from the edge of extinction
The beautiful Siamese crocodile is a freshwater crocodile native to Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. It is so rare it was thought to be extinct in the wild until it was rediscovered in 2000. Now they need our help to battle for survival.
Despite its large size, the Siamese crocodile is not a man-eater.
Siamese crocodiles have disappeared from more than 99% of their range during the past century. This shocking fact is due to the rampant loss of its wetland habitat and hunting.
These ancient creatures are now classed as ‘critically endangered’ – the highest level of threat of extinction in the wild. Small colonies and isolated individuals are clinging onto survival in remote parts of south east Asia.
Urgent action is needed if this reptile is ever to recover.
We are focusing on saving these precious reptiles in Cambodia, which harbours most of this remaining population and still has extensive areas of suitable wetland habitats.
Efforts here by our grantees Fauna and Flora International have already achieved a sharp reduction in poaching of Siamese crocodiles. We have also established community-managed sanctuaries to conserve three of the best remaining breeding colonies in the wild. However, we need additional measures to keep Siamese crocodiles from the brink of extinction.
Thanks to our funds experts are launching a national programme to reintroduce locally-bred Siamese crocodiles to safe locations. The project will also establish National Crocodile Sanctuaries to protect priority wetlands, with both high-level government legislation and the grassroots support of indigenous communities.
We will monitor all these sites carefully to evaluate the effects of our conservation action upon the crocodiles, other rare wetland species, and local communities.
- 53 purebred captive bred and confiscated crocodiles have been released into the wild.
- 13 more crocodiles are awaiting genetic tests, as only purebreds can be released into the wild.
- Our local crocodile wardens have been doing an excellent job patrolling key crocodile sanctuary sites.
- Our work to date is encouraging other organizations to become actively involved in crocodile research and protection in this region.
- Read more in the latest project update report and on the Fauna and Flora International project pages
- A captive breeding and reintroduction programme has been established to boost the population.