With the distribution of Siamese Crocodiles diminished and fragmented, augmenting the population of the species in the wild via the releases of captive bred individuals is one of the steps essential for the recovery of the species. Establishing a conservation breeding programme for Siamese Crocodiles however has its challenges, including identifying suitable founders and the lack of capacity and infrastructure to house these individuals. LCTW, with its population of potentially suitable individuals, has declared its commitment to contribute to conservation action for the species through a conservation breeding programme. However, LCTW was abruptly informed in 2023 by the Lao government that their land contract at their current site would not be renewed, contrary to previous indications, and was given only two years to secure, develop and rehome/move the animals under their care, including the Siamese Crocodiles, to a new site.
LCTW will construct a Siamese Crocodile enclosure at its new site, that will support a conservation breeding programme. Expert advice regarding enclosure design will be sought. Depending on factors such as identification of suitable release sites, the plan is for captive-bred juveniles to be released into the wild at around two years of age. A separate grant from ASAP’s Species Conservation Fund will support the genetic analysis of these crocodiles to ensure that only purebred Siamese Crocodiles are included in the conservation breeding programme.
Project reports will be added here
Photo credit: Lao Connservation Trust for Wildlife