No place for crocodiles in Philippines: official

Sep 14, 2011
A captured crocodile is seen in a cage in Manila in 2001. Efforts to save the Philippine crocodile, a "critically endangered" reptile, could go in vain as bureaucrats oppose their release into the wild, a top Philippine environment official said Wednesday.

Efforts to save the Philippine crocodile, a "critically endangered" reptile, could go in vain as bureaucrats oppose their release into the wild, a top Philippine environment official said Wednesday.

A 24-year-old captive breeding programme in the country has produced about 7,000 Philippine and saltwater crocodiles, but they have nowhere to go, the environment secretary Ramon Paje told reporters.

Releasing them into rivers and marshes would ideally lead to the delisting of the Philippine crocodile -- Crocodylus mindorensis -- from the country's "critically endangered" species list, he said.

"The problem is, we cannot delist it yet because the rules say you can only delist from the if it's already surviving in its natural habitat," Paje said.

"There is no mayor anywhere in the Philippines who would allow the release of crocodiles in his municipality."

The environment ministry has been threatened with lawsuits over such planned releases, he said, with local officials expressing concern that the reptiles could attack locals in surrounding areas.

Government-employed crocodile hunters captured a 21-foot (6.4-metre) saltwater crocodile from the southern Agusan marsh in early September after it reportedly killed two people.

Local officials from the northern towns of San Mariano and Palanan complained that they were not consulted when 19 captive-bred Philippine crocodiles were released recently in a nearby , Paje said.

Paje did not say how the national government planned to resolve the deadlock.

The International Union for the in Switzerland listed Crocodylus mindorensis -- a large freshwater crocodile found only in the Philippines -- on its "critically endangered" list in 1996.

Experts working with the environment ministry say there are less than 100 of them left in the wild.

The ministry says the Philippine crocodile and the are "critically endangered" mainly due to loss of habitat as a result of human population growth and expansion.

Explore further: Call for alternative identification methods for endangered species

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Endangered crocodiles released to fight extinction

Jan 27, 2011

Nineteen of the world's most critically endangered crocodiles were released Thursday into the wild in the Philippines as part of efforts to save the species from extinction, conservationists said.

Borneo's crocodiles 'no longer endangered'

Jun 28, 2010

Wildlife officials in Malaysian Borneo are pushing to have its saltwater crocodiles removed from a list of endangered animals, saying the reptile's numbers have strongly recovered in recent years.

Malaysia scientists tag Borneo saltwater crocodile

Jun 29, 2011

Wildlife researchers in Malaysia are to track a saltwater crocodile by satellite, they said Wednesday, in a bid to find out why nearly 40 people have been attacked on Borneo island over a decade.

Rare crocs found hiding in plain sight in Cambodia

Nov 18, 2009

(AP) -- Conservationists searching for one of the world's most endangered crocodile species say they have found dozens of the reptiles lounging in plain sight - at a wildlife rescue center in Cambodia.

Philippines urged to free giant crocodile

Sep 10, 2011

An animal rights group urged the Philippines to free what is thought to be the world's largest crocodile in captivity, even though it allegedly killed two people.

20 endangered Siamese crocodiles hatch in Laos

Aug 26, 2011

(AP) -- One of the world's rarest crocodile species has moved a little bit further from extinction with the hatching of 20 wild eggs plucked from a nest found in southern Laos.

Recommended for you

India's ancient mammals survived multiple pressures

10 hours ago

Most of the mammals that lived in India 200,000 years ago still roam the subcontinent today, in spite of two ice ages, a volcanic super-eruption and the arrival of people, a study reveals.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...