Philippine crocodile

Philippine crocodile

Philippine crocodile information

Crocodylus mindorensis, commonly known as Philippine crocodile, Philippine freshwater crocodile and Mindoro crocodile, is a critically endangered crocodile species endemic to the Philippines. Until very recently it was considered a subspecies of the New Guinea crocodile, Crocodylusnovaeguineae, and had the name Crocodylus novaeguinea mindorensis.

Philippine crocodile taxonomy

Kingdom:      Animalia
Phylum:         Chordata
Class:            Reptilia
Order:           Crocodilia
Family:          Crocodylidae
Genus:           Crocodylus
Species:         Crocodylus mindorensis

Philippine crocodile conservation status

Crocodylus mindorensis is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The estimated wild population is comprised of less than 200 individuals.

The Philippine crocodile is one of the most severely threatened species of crocodile. It has a limited distribution range and is threatened by habitat destruction, chiefly due to agricultural expansion and a rapidly expanding human population. The main threat used to be hunting, but habitat destruction is now a bigger hazard. Unsustainable fishing practices such as dynamite fishing is also a problem.

Governmental support for conservation measures is low and the general attitude towards this species tend to be negative among the locals. In 2007, a specialist group – The Crocodile Conservation Society Philippines – was founded by crocodilian conservationists within the Philippines. This group is currently working on breeding and release programs in conjunction with the Zoological Institute of HerpaWorld in Mindoro, the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre, the Silliman University, and the Dutch/Filipino Mabuwaya foundation. There are also plans for awareness and management programs.

Philippine crocodile range

The Philippine crocodile is native to the Philippines.

The species current distribution within the country remains unclear, but it was once found on the islands of Busuanga, Jolo, Luzon, Masbate, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros, and Samar. It is suspected of having gone extinct on Jolo, Luzon, Masbate and Samar.

The range of the Philippine crocodile overlaps that of the Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), but hardly anything is known about the relationship between the two.

Philippine crocodile habitat

The Philippine crocodile is chiefly found in freshwater environments, such as marshes, ponds, small lakes, and small riverine tributaries.

Philippine crocodile size and appearance

The Philippine crocodile is a small crocodile where the males rarely exceed 3 meters (10 feet). The females are somewhat smaller. Compared to most other crocodile species the Philippine croc has a rather broad snout. The body is golden-brown and will grow darker as the animal matures. The dorsal armor (i.e the bony plating on the back) is thick. 

Philippine crocodile feeding and diet

The Philippine crocodile feeds chiefly on aquatic invertebrates and small vertebrates. Very little is known about its exact diet and feeding strategies.

Philippine crocodile breeding

The Philippine crocodile builds a relatively small mound nest; approximately 50 cm meter tall and 150 cm wide (20 inches tall, 60 inches wide). In the nest, the female will lay 7-20 eggs which will hatch after roughly 85 days. The female is known to exhibit parental care.

Philippine crocodile facts

Philippine crocodile facts # 1
Crocodylus mindorensis means “Crocodile of the Mindoros”. Mindoros is an island in the Philippines.

Philippine crocodile facts # 2
The Philippine crocodile has 66-68 teeth.

Philippine crocodile facts # 3
The Philippine crocodile was first considered a subspecies of C. porosus, before it became acknowledge as a subspecies of C. novaeguineae. Today, it is considered a separate species.

Philippine crocodile facts # 4
The Philippine crocodile was considered locally extinct from Northern Luzon, but in 1999 a live specimen was caught in San Mariano, Isabela. It was nicknamed Isabela and sent to the Crocodile Rehabilitation Observance and Conservation where it was kept for eight years. In August 2007, Isabela had grown to a length of 1.6 meters (5.2 feet) and was released back into the wild.   

Philippine crocodile facts # 5
When crocodile specialist Dr. Brady Barr tried to become the first person to see all species of crocodile in the world, the Philippine crocodile turned out to be the most difficult one to find. You can see his pursuit in National Geographic's “Dangerous Encounters”. Eventually, Dr Barr saw a two week old specimen, thus completing his quest.

Philippine crocodile lifespan

Just like many other facts regarding this rare species, the average and maximal lifespan of the Philippine crocodile remains unknown to science.


Privacy policy
Search AC

AC Tropical Fish