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Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis)

Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 10251253

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 10251253) - Siamese crocodile - Awarded $10,000 on July 14, 2010

FFI works by invitation around the world to save species from extinction, habitats from destruction and to encourage sustainable development. Formed in 1903 in the United Kingdom, FFI acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, are based on sound science and take account of human needs. We work through partnerships that ensure local ownership and lasting results and believe success lies in devising strategies that 2 both conserve biodiversity and contribute to human development. Our guiding principles are to: respond to local needs, respect national priorities, develop strategic partnerships and strengthen our partners’ capacity. Our program of activities in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Eurasia is delivered principally through: building capacity to equip local people and agencies to manage their natural heritage; monitoring causes of biodiversity loss and its impact on local people, identifying and implementing solutions that benefit people and wildlife; and securing threatened areas of high biodiversity importance through land purchase and local conservation agreements. The Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Program (CCCP) is a key part of FFI’s long-term goal in Cambodia to integrate sustainable development with environmental conservation in ways that benefit both people and biodiversity. FFI was one of the first international non-profit organizations to work in Cambodia, beginning in 1996 (several years before the civil war ended) in response to a call for help from the Royal Government of Cambodia. FFI Cambodia is a recognized non-profit organization and operates out of an office in Phnom Penh. Almost all of the people involved in this project are permanently based in Cambodia. In 1992, the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group declared the Siamese Crocodile to be “effectively extinct in the wild” owing to a devastating combination of habitat loss, hunting, and collection to stock crocodile farms. Eight years later, the rediscovery of Siamese Crocodiles during a joint FFI-Government of Cambodia expedition to the Cardamom Mountains created a stir among both the scientific community and the world’s media (Daltry & Chheang, 2000). FFI and Forestry Administration promptly developed an integrated multidisciplinary program to save these crocodiles from intensive, growing threats from poachers and habitat destruction. Since 2000, we have found approximately 170 individual crocodiles, scattered across 33 rivers and wetlands. Few of these are in breeding pairs, and we have evidence of no more than five nests being produced per year throughout the entire distribution range (Simpson et al., 2006a). Our in situ initiatives to date include field-based research, including studies on: (i) the distribution, status, habitat preferences, diet and reproductive biology of Siamese Crocodiles; (ii) the diversity and status of other reptiles, amphibians, fish, birds and large mammals in key crocodile sites; and (iii) the livelihoods and needs of local communities, especially options to improve their income and food security without jeopardizing the crocodiles or other wildlife. We have learned much about the crocodiles’ status and ecology, identified a number of serious threats to them and made great headway in implementing appropriate responses.

Project 10251253 location - Cambodia, Asia