The critically endangered Siamese crocodile is now extinct in 99% of its former range, following decades of hunting and habitat loss. Fewer than 250 adults remain, mostly in Cambodia, where an FFI-led survey team rediscovered the species in early 2000. FFI is working with the Cambodian government and local communities to safeguard the remaining wild crocodiles and their habitat by developing crocodile sanctuaries protected by local community wardens. Working closely with communities is vital to conservation, so we are also supporting sustainable livelihood development in the areas where we work. We also advocate stricter controls over crocodile farming and trade, and carry out research and monitoring.
In 2009, FFI helped to identify 35 pure-bred Siamese crocodiles in a local wildlife rescue centre and has since developed the first conservation breeding programme in the country – a vital source of genetic diversity for the reintroduction of the species into new areas. In 2012, the Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Project launched a programme to release pure-bred individuals back into the wild in suitable sites in the Cardamom Mountains, under the National Siamese Crocodile Reintroduction and Reinforcement Action Plan.
We are grateful for financial support from the Species Fund, the People’s Trust for Endangered Species, the Prince Bernhard Fund for Nature and the Czech Association for Breeding and Conservation of Crocodilians.