Pinoy scientists step up research on critically endangered crocs

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By Erwin M. Mascariñas/ABS-CBN News – A non-government organization specializing on crocodile conservation has stepped up its research on the critically endangered Philippine crocodile in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte.

Rainier Manalo, program head of crocodile research and conservation of the Crocodylus Porosus Philippines Incorporated (CPPI), said the population of the Philippine crocodile is shrinking.

“We should be proud that we have a unique crocodile, which is only found in the Philippines. Unfortunately, its dwindling population in the wild has listed it on the critically endangered species list. So much is needed to be done in terms of scientific research and study to fully understand the crocodile,” he said.

The Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), which can grow up to 10 feet long, is a smaller cousin of the more abundant saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus Porosus), which can grow up to 20 feet long.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, there are fewer than 200 adult Philippine crocodiles in the wild.

“There has been an observed decline in the overall population of 82 percent in the known localities and an estimated and inferred decline in the number of adults in the population by 85 percent to 94 percent over the last three generations,” it said.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species said, “Habitat loss, persecution, and entanglement in fishing nets are the primary ongoing threats. Based upon this past decline, the Philippine crocodile is assessed as critically endangered.”

Manalo said the purpose of their research is to further understand the behavior of Philippine crocodile on their new habitat 5 years after they were introduced into Paghungawan Marsh in Pilar.


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