Friday, September 16, 2011

You don't want your unique, endemic species anymore?

This kind of story is tragic and sad, but typical of the problems faced with conservation of crocodiles. The Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is considered perhaps the most endangered of all the species, with less than 100 individuals remaining in the wild and considerable pressure on its remaining habitat. Yet there are now estimated to be 7,000 Philippine crocodiles in captivity, more than enough to help replenish wild populations before they disappear forever. The problem is getting permission to release them. It seems nobody in a position to grant this permission wants any Philippine crocodiles released back into the wild, based on unfounded fears that these crocodiles may start to kill people (there has not been a single documented attack by a Philippine crocodile on a human recorded). There has always been confusion in the Philippines between the Philippine crocodile and the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and the admittedly rare attacks by the latter species have unfortunately also tarred the reputation of the former.

Yet it should be clear to anyone in the Philippines of the value of crocodiles to their country, on a week after the world's largest saltwater crocodile was captured and placed into captivity for the purposes of tourism and education about crocodiles. Perhaps those same officials who refuse to consider releasing an endemic and unique crocodile, a species that should be a source of national pride for their country (and international derision should it be allowed to disappear forever), should read their own newspapers and realise how important (and valuable) crocodiles can be for a country that is lucky enough to still have them.

AFP: No place for crocodiles in Philippines: official:

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nile crocodile is two species : Nature News

Still waiting for the formal description, but very interesting implications for Nile crocodiles.

Nile crocodile is two species : Nature News:

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UPDATE: Here's a link to the recently-published paper by Hekkala et al.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

More on the giant Philippine saltwater crocodile

I've had a look at several photographs of that giant Philippine saltwater crocodile, not to mention a few videos, and I must admit that's probably the largest crocodile I've seen. There's a good chance that this one isn't an exaggeration, although I'd still like to see the measurement and weight independently verified to be certain. I'm so used to reading stories with exaggerated crocodile lengths, that when a genuine enormous crocodile does surface it can be difficult to accept at face value. But from what I've seen, I'd be prepared to believe this one. It's certainly at least 18 feet long, bigger than Cassius, and hopefully it really is 21 feet (6.4 metres). There has been some doubt raised about the weight, but there's so little information on the weights of large crocodiles out that that size extrapolations from existing datasets are likely to be inaccurate for very large crocs. I have a feeling we'll be getting some independent verification soon. I'll keep you posted, but it's pretty exciting to see such a huge crocodile regardless of the actual figure attached to it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Why so quiet?

Hi there, my name is Adam! You might remember me from this blog which I used to update more regularly, and the CrocLog Podcast which was going pretty well there for a while. Well the truth is I've had an extremely busy few months, and I've got plenty of cool stories to tell, photos to show you, and videos to share. But right now I'm going away again. Tomorrow in fact, to an isolated island with no internet. However, very cool stuff is going to be happening there which of course I can't tell you about. Yet. My life has suddenly become very mysterious.

Be assured though that I'll be back! Meanwhile, Brandon continues to update the Facebook page with photos, stories and news reports so check that out for your croc fix. I'll check in at the end of the month hopefully.

In the meantime, I'll just leave you with this very cool picture of Smaug. I'll let you figure out how I took it.

Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines | AP | 09/05/2011

Most giant crocodile news stories are gross over-exaggerations or media hype, but this one is undoubtedly a large crocodile. Is it really as big as they say though? I'd like to see the actual measurement of course.

Giant crocodile captured alive in Philippines | AP | 09/05/2011:

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