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The CROC Project

rocodile Rehabilitation , Observance & Conservation

The Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis is an endemic, freshwater, crocodilian. It is a small, shy and harmless animal that does not attack humans unless provoked. Previously widely distributed throughout the Philippine archipelago, C. mindorensis is now thought to be restricted to Mindanao, Negros and Luzon. The last population estimate put the total number of surviving non-hatchling Philippine crocodiles at 100.

C. mindorensis is listed in the IUCN Red List (Hilton-Taylor 2000) as critically endangered. The IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group considers C. mindorensis to be the most severely threatened crocodile species in the world and placed the species on the top of the priority list of crocodiles needing conservation action (Ross 1998).

The main threats to the survival of C. mindorensis are habitat loss, pollution of rivers, and the killing of crocodiles for skins, meat and amulets, and out of fear or ignorance. Apart from a captive breeding program on the island of Palawan, which has so far not reintroduced crocodiles into the wild, no conservation projects existed for the species until 1999.

A remnant population of Philippine crocodiles was discovered in Northeastern Luzon in 1999. This population is currently considered to offer the best prospects for in situ conservation of the species. A Philippine crocodile conservation program was set up, first under the auspices of the Dutch funded Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park – Conservation Project (NSMNP-CP), which was implemented by Plan International. When this project phased out, the implementers sought to continue Philippine crocodile conservation.

Since 2002, the Crocodile Rehabilitation, Observance and Conservation (CROC) project is running the Philippine crocodile conservation program with funding from the British Petroleum (BP) Conservation Program (Gold Award in 2002, Top Follow Up award in 2003). The CROC project is implemented under the umbrella of the Cagayan Valley Program on Environment and Development (CVPED), a joint research and education program of Isabela State University and Leiden University. Since July 2003, the CROC Project is an officially registered Philippine NGO: the Mabuwaya Foundation. (Mabuwaya is a contraction of the Filipino words Mabuhay, welcome or long live, and Buwaya, crocodile).

1 Ross, J. P. (1998) Crocodiles, status survey and conservation action plan. 2nd edition. IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

2Banks, C. (2000) National recovery plan for the Philippine crocodile, Crocodylus mindorensis. 2000 - 2006. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens. Manila, the Philippines and Melbourne, Australia.

3 Van Weerd, M. (2000) “Update on Philippine crocodile occurrence in the Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park”. In: Crocodile Specialist Group Newsletter, Vol. 19, No. 4 October 2000 - December 2000. p. 12-14. IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.



Crocodile Hatchlings
Crocodile Hatchlings


Project Location

Region II



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