CROC – crocodile rehabilitation, observance and conservation, Philippines
The endemic Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is the most severally endangered crocodile species in the world. The species was rediscovered in 1999 on the island of Luzon which led to the establishment of the Crocodile Rehabilitation, Observance and Conservation (CROC) Project, funded by the BP Conservation Programme with the Gold Award in 2002 and the Top Follow Up Award in 2003. The CROC Project has conducted crocodile surveys in Northeast Luzon and discovered six distinct permanently inhabited Philippine crocodile localities in two main distribution areas. The CROC Project has implemented the first ever in situ conservation activities for this species. This has led to increased local support for crocodile conservation, a decline in crocodile killing and catching, the establishment of the first Philippine crocodile sanctuary, four successful crocodile reproduction events and a two-fold increase in non-hatchling crocodile population size. Local students have been trained and capacitated as conservationist and crocodile scientists. A local conservation organization, the Mabuwaya Foundation Inc., has been established to spearhead the Philippine crocodile conservation activities on Luzon. However, the Philippine crocodile population in NE Luzon is still critically small and direct and indirect threats continue to jeopardize its survival chances. Activities proposed are:
1) Philippine crocodile population monitoring and basic biological and social studies.
2) Awareness raising and information campaigns.
3) Basic crocodile conservation and protection activities.
4) Strengthening of the Mabuwaya Foundation and further capacitating of its staff.