Zoos Victoria is working closely with the Mabuwaya Foundation, local communities and the Philippine Government to protect one of the last known breeding populations of the Philippine Crocodile, Crocodylus mindorensis. The program is based in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park on north-east Luzon Island and integrates wildlife conservation with community development.
This is the primary in situ conservation program for the Critically Endangered Philippine Crocodile. The crocodile is also promoted as a flagship for broader freshwater wetland conservation across northern Luzon.
This program has become a model for other Philippines conservation projects. The presence of the program is also helping to reduce illegal activities in the park.
Populations of the Critically Endangered Philippine Crocodile have been decimated by hunting, loss of isolated populations and ongoing habitat destruction. There are now only two remnant populations, both of which continue to be threatened by habitat loss.
The Philippines has laws to protect its environment and wildlife, but the capacity to implement these laws at a national scale is often lacking. Although less of a threat on Luzon Island, civil insurgency has also prevented the protection or even study of wildlife in some areas.
Local community responsibility for managing community affairs (including natural resource management) is a key factor in the success of the Mabuwaya Foundation’s program.
With strong support from the local government, the Mabuwaya Foundation works with farming communities to implement the National Recovery Plan for the Philippine Crocodile by:
Zoos Victoria provides funding for the Mabuwaya Foundation’s field work (habitat protection and wild crocodile population surveys). We also hold the position of International Coordinator on the Philippine Crocodile Recovery Team, and work strategically to facilitate partnerships with the Philippine Government and other international organisations.
San Mariano Municipal Government
Isabela State University
Gladys Porter Zoo, Texas
Danish Crocodile Zoo