Siamese crocodile appeal
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Siamese crocodile appeal
There are as few as 250 adult Siamese crocodiles left in the wild in Cambodia. Siamese crocodiles have died out in 99% of their original territory. They are now perilously close to extinction and the very few that remain are at huge risk.
Eggs, juveniles and adults are sold to crocodile farms in Cambodia and neighbouring countries. The species is hybridised with other crocodile species to produce faster-growing, bigger crocodiles for their skin and meat. A single adult female Siamese crocodile is worth more than four year’s wages for the average Cambodian on the black market.
Wetlands have been converted to rice paddies all across Asia, and the situation is becoming ever more dire as the human population rises. Hydro-electric dams have wiped out entire river ecosystems, so many species are losing their habitat.
Drowning in fishing nets and conflict with fishing communities
Nylon nets tend to be left in the water longer than traditional plant fibre nets, and Siamese crocodiles get caught in them. Smaller, weaker crocodiles drown, but any larger crocodiles that struggle free can damage the nets which are so valuable to local communities, causing conflict.
What are we funding?
The reintroduction programme
We’re funding a team in Cambodia who are breeding Siamese crocodiles to release them into the wild. Breeding pairs are introduced to each other and the hatchlings raised at the facility. Once the croclets are large enough, they are released in secret locations, and tagged so we can track their whereabouts and well-being. So far, 68 Siamese crocodiles have already been released and our facility has a further seven crocodiles that should be large enough for release into the wild in January 2018. A crocodile farm in Sien Reap has a further 50 crocodiles that we could take in, but first we need to test their DNA to ensure that they are 100% pure-breed Siamese crocodiles, and therefore suitable for our project.
Protecting the crocodiles
We’re working with local communities to protect the Siamese crocodiles. This includes patrolling key nesting sites and guarding the reintroduction sites to prevent poaching, and working with the indigenous people who see the crocodiles as sacred.
We’re also working with communities who come into conflict with the crocodiles. When a Siamese crocodile gets caught in valuable fishing nets they can cause damage to the nets. This puts local livelihoods at risk and so there is conflict with the crocodiles. We’ve had success in several sites already by encouraging the local communities to use traditional nets and fish traps. Many communities actually reported improved livelihoods, whilst fish stocks and local colonies of Siamese crocodiles stabilised. We want to do this in as many areas as we can.
Fighting for habitat protection
Rice paddies and hydro-electric dams have destroyed entire river eco-systems across Asia. To combat habitat loss we’re fighting to get legal protection for the areas that are most crucial to Siamese crocodile colonies. This protection will ensure there is no more development in these precious areas, and will help a whole range of species.
Will you give a donation to our Siamese crocodile appeal, and save them from extinction?
Yes I want to protect Siamese crocodiles