Head Start for Critically Endangered Crocs

February 21, 2013

WCS and partners in Lao PDR have collaborated to reintroduce 19 critically endangered Siamese crocodiles to the wild. Next month, a public ceremony will commemorate their repatriation.

With 250 of their kind left in the wild, Siamese crocodiles are critically endangered—and getting a boost. A group of 19 captive-raised baby crocs are preparing for life in the Xe Champhone wetland complex of Savanakhet Province, in their native turf in Lao PDR. The 19-month old hatchlings were reared as part of a head-starting program at the Lao Zoo.

To ease the transition, members of the recovery team placed the youngsters into soft release pens in the wetland where conservationists found their eggs during surveys in 2011. When the rainy season begins, rising waters will naturally usher them into the wild. As they grow, conservationists will periodically monitor their success.

WCS’s Lao PDR Program designed and implemented the release as part of the Community-based Crocodile Recovery and Livelihood Improvement Project. In addition to helping the Siamese crocodile population recover, the program aims to involve local communities in long-term wetland management.

Read more with our press release>>

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