Emergency Aid to Cambodian Crocs07th March, 2013
The Fund dispatched $12,000 in emergency aid to help relocate Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia before construction begins on a hydroelectric dam. The dam will obliterate the second largest population of Siamese crocodiles if they are not immediately relocated.
It was announced in February that a hydropower dam will be built by the China Guodian Corporation on the Areng River. The dam will erase the river’s resident Critically Endangered Siamese crocodiles – at least 5% of the global breeding population – and force six villages to relocate. The company aims to begin construction in July.
This is only the third time in the history of the Fund that an emergency grant has been dispatched. In 2010 the Fund provided emergency aid for Saiga antelope in Kazakhstan and again in 2012 for rosewood forests in Belize.
The Areng River crocodile population is now stable at 30-40 adults and subadults. As the second largest known Siamese crocodile population in the world, this site is one of only a handful where this species breeds.
The emergency grant was given to Fauna & Flora International (FFI). The Fund has now provided more than $30,000 to the Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Programme, a joint initiative between FFI and the Cambodian Government’s Forestry Administration. Through the support of this programme the local communities have successfully protected crocodiles from poaching, habitat degradation and human conflict.
Now, time is of the essence. The Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Programme field personnel will rescue the crocodiles from March through May. This operation must be completed by June, when the rainy season will transform the Areng River into a white-water torrent, making it extremely difficult and dangerous to catch crocodiles.
FFI requested the Fund's urgent fiancial assistance to relocate the crocodiles to a proposed crocodile sanctuary in another remote part of Cambodia, approximately 70 km away. The Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Programme experts have surveyed the site and confirm it will give the crocodiles the habitat and security they require.
FFI is accepting donations from individuals who want to help. To do so, please click here and visit FFI's site.