Philippine Crocodile facts
The Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) can only be located on the Philippines islands. It was originally found in Luzon and parts of Visayas and Mindanao just before their population numbers were significantly slashed by, mainly, habitat destruction, the Philippine crocodile is currently thought to be limited to Mindanao, Negros as well as Luzon. They are also know by other common names like the Mindoro crocodile or the Philippine freshwater crocodile.
This crocodile species is among the most dangerously vulnerable and endangered crocodilian species in the world, together with the Chinese alligator. There may be less than one hundred adult Philippine crocodiles surviving in the their natural habitat.
This crocodile species also ended up being featured in National Geographic "Dangerous Encounters" which is hosted, by the world famous crocodile expert Dr. Brady Barr. In one of the series episodes, Dr. Brady Barr was attempting to be the first person, to see all of the species of crocodilians across the globe. With the Philippine crocodile being the most challenging one to track down. Nonetheless, he managed to find out a Philippine crocodile which was only about two weeks old.
Philippines crocodiles are actually, essentially restricted to freshwater areas, which will include small lakes and ponds, small river courses in addition to marshes.
This is a comparatively small crocodile species, which doesn't get nearly as large as some of the saltwater crocodiles (also known as Estuarine Crocodile) that also inhabit this area. Males typically won't grow bigger than 3 meters (9.8 feet), with females being actually even smaller. They are actually considered to be a shy and harmless crocodile species that don't harass human beings unless of course aggravated or provoked.
The Philippine crocodile features a somewhat broad snout along with heavy dorsal armor. It brings to mind the New Guinea crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae), of which it was classified as a subspecies until relatively recently.
They feature from 66 to 68 teeth. Just as with all other crocodile species, the teeth are constantly growing, and periodically fall out and therefore are substituted by new ones. Philippine crocodiles are usually golden-brown in color, which will darken as they become older.
Philippine crocodile - Diet
They will feed mainly on aquatic invertebrates and small vertebrates. Their prey size will get bigger with age, and large adults are capable of taking on prey, as large as an antelope, although very little is known of about the feeding preferences of this crocodile species.
Philippine crocodile - Reproduction
The females construct a somewhat modest mound nest by the end of the dry season. They will then lay a relatively small clutch from between 7 to 20 eggs. The incubation period lasts roughly eighty five days. As in several other crocodiles the female shows parental care, both for the eggs and the hatchings.
Philippine crocodile - Conservation status and major threats
This species is extremely endangered, their exact numbers in nature are undetermined, nonetheless it is a very rare and endangered animals in the Philippines. It is an Appendix One species under CITES and it is protected by Philippine law. It's usually identified as “the most endangered species of crocodilian in the world”. The very last population assess position the number of existing young Philippine crocodiles within one-hundred or less .
It has a limited distribution range and it is exposed to habitat devastation as a result of elimination of wetlands for agriculture, native dynamite fishing, and human population pressures. Some local crocodile conservationists groups are now focusing on this crocodile conservation projects, with the implementation of captive breeding along with release programs.
- IUCN Red List (May, 2011) http://www.iucnredlist.org
- FLMNH - Crocodile Species List (May, 2011) http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/cnhc/