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Philippines Crocodile Recovery
Zoos Victoria is proud to be working closely with the Mabuwaya Foundation, local farming communities and the Philippine Government to protect the world’s most critically endangered crocodile species through the implementation of the National Recovery Plan.
The last known breeding populations of the Philippines Crocodile are located in Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park on north-east Luzon Island, with populations previously decimated by hunting, loss of isolated populations and ongoing habitat destruction.
Zoos Victoria has provided funding for the Foundation’s fieldwork which includes habitat protection and wild crocodile population surveys. We also hold the position of International Coordinator on the Philippines Crocodile Recovery Team and work strategically to facilitate partnerships with the Philippines Government and other international organisations.
The Recovery Plan
- Employs local villagers as guards and develops sustainable livelihood options.
- Increases wild crocodile populations by establishing community-managed sanctuaries for crocodiles and fish.
- Assists communities with the ‘head-start program’, where juvenile crocodile eggs are collected and reared in captivity before being release at sizes more likely to withstand the impact of typhoons.
- Develops action plans for sustainable environmental management.
- Promotes positive attitudes towards Philippines Crocodiles.
- Integrates community awareness program within the local community.
- The San Mariano Municipal Government provides annual funding for the sanctuary protection groups, and has passed regulation protecting crocodiles, habitat and other wildlife.
- Philippines Crocodile is also promoted as a flagship species for broader freshwater wetland conservation across northern Luzon.
- The presence of the program is also helping reduce illegal activities in the park.
- Local community responsibility for managing community affairs has been a key success factor of the Foundation’s program with more than 1,500 people now involved.
- Seven crocodile sanctuaries have been established and are regularly patrolled with recent surveys showing a significant increase in Philippines Crocodiles.
- Successful breeding of Philippines Crocodiles at Melbourne Zoo as part of an awareness raising program for Australian visitors.