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Philippine Crocodile

Philippine crocodile

Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a species of crocodile and belongs to the Crocodylidae family. The words "Crocodylus" and "midorensis" are derived from the Greek word "Krokodeilos" meaning "pebble worm" and "of Mindoro" respectively. This species is in the endangered list of species. They have different common names such as Philippine freshwater crocodile, Philippine crocodile and Mindoro crocodile. These crocodiles are only found on the islands of Philippines.

Physical Description
The Philippine crocodile is a small crocodile with a broad snout. These crocodiles have thick bony plates on its back. They grow up to a size of 3 meters. Males of these species are bigger than the females. Their dorsal armor is heavy and has around (66 to 68) teeth. These crocodiles are golden-brown in color and the color darkens as they get mature.

Habitat and Distribution
The Philippine crocodiles are freshwater crocodiles and can be found only on the islands of Philippine. They can be seen in rivers, ponds, marshes and tributaries. Their numbers have gone down drastically and around 100 crocodiles are remaining in the wild today.

Feeding Habits
The Philippine crocodiles feed on the small vertebrates and aquatic invertebrates. These crocodile are known to feed on rats, sea fish, shrimps and snails.

Breeding / Reproduction
Very little is known to the researchers about the reproductive behavior of this crocodile. It is known that this species make a nest and the female deposits her eggs in to this nest. The numbers of eggs are around (7 to 20) in number. The female is known to incubate the eggs while the male does not help the female in incubating the eggs.

Philippine crocodiles

Conservation
The Philippine crocodiles are listed in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list of endangered species. Very little is known to the researchers about the behavior and ecology of this species. The main reason behind the tremendous decrease in their population is the destruction of their natural habitat by the human beings. As, the human population is growing the natural habitat of these species is being used for agriculture or other purpose. Apart from this, dynamite fishing has killed many of these crocodiles. The measures take by the Government in order to protect them is not sufficient and the local attitude towards these crocodiles is negative. Now, they are kept and preserved in captivity and this could be helpful in order to increase their population. In order to save these species a general awareness program would be beneficial and may change the present scenario. A specialist group for the conservation of these species was found named as "The Crocodile Conservation Society Philippines". This society was founded by the crocodilian conservationists of the Philippines. This society is working with the Filipino Mabuwaya foundation, the Zoological Institute of Herpa World in Mindoro, the Silliman University and the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre. These firms are working on the breeding and preservation of the Philippine Crocodile. Therefore, it can be expected that the population of these species will increase in the near future.