CSL
Crocodylus mindorensis (SCHMIDT, 1935)


NAMES | DISTRIBUTION | HABITAT | STATUS | APPEARANCE | IMAGES | DIET | BREEDING | CONSERVATION

FAMILY:
ALLIGATORIDAE

A. mississippiensis
A. sinensis
C. crocodilus
C. c. apaporiensis
C. c. fuscus
C. latirostris
C. yacare
M. niger
P. palpebrosus
P. trigonatus

FAMILY:
CROCODYLIDAE

C. acutus
C. intermedius
C. johnstoni
C. mindorensis
C. moreletii
C. niloticus
C. novaeguineae
C. palustris
C. porosus
C. rhombifer
C. siamensis
M. cataphractus
O. tetraspis
T. schlegelii

FAMILY:
GAVIALIDAE

G. gangeticus

DICHOTOMOUS KEY
[German]

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STATUS OF INFORMATION:
This information was most-recently updated January 2009 and is considered up-to-date. Please contact me directly regarding updates or corrections.

COMMON NAMES:
Philippine Crocodile, Mindoro crocodile, Philippine freshwater crocodile

NAME ETYMOLOGY:
> Crocodylus is derived from the Greek krokodeilos which means literally "pebble worm" (kroko = pebble; deilos = worm, or man) referring to the appearance of a crocodile.
> mindorensis means "of Mindoro" (Mindoro Island, Philippines), derived from mindoro + ensis (Latin for "belonging to")

SUBSPECIES:
This species was originally considered to be a subspecies of either C. porosus or, more recently, C. novaeguineae (i.e. C. novaeguineae mindorensis). There is limited evidence for a separate species called C. raninus, which is very similar to C. mindorensis but restricted to Borneo, to be resurrected. There is considered to be insufficient evidence to justify this, however, and C. raninus is not officially recognised. Recent genetic work suggests that specimens thought to be C. raninus may in fact be C. porosus.

DISTRIBUTION:
[CLICK ON MAP FOR DETAILED RANGE]
Distribution map Philippines (islands of Busuanga, Jolo, Luzon, Masbate, Mindanao, Mindoro, Negros, Samar are part of the historical range, but the current distribution is largely unverified - reported to be extirpated from Jolo, Luzon, Masbate and Samar).

HABITAT:
Mainly restricted to freshwater areas - e.g. small lakes and ponds, small riverine tributaries and marshes.

STATUS:
     CITES: Appendix I
     IUCN Red List: CR A1c, C2a (CRITICALLY ENDANGERED)
     Estimated wild population: under 200
Summary: Considered at very high risk of extinction due to small populations, limited distribution, negative local attitudes and ineffective management

APPEARANCE:
The Philippine crocodile is a relatively small species - males generally do not grow larger than 3 metres, with females being smaller. Has a relatively broad snout for a crocodile, and heavy dorsal armour. Similar in morphology to C. novaeguineae, of which it was classed a subspecies until fairly recently.

Dentition codeDENTITION:
5 pre-maxillary; 13-14 maxillary; 15 mandibular
Total no. of teeth = 66-68

IMAGES:
[click on image for enlargement]

Click Upper body of adult crocodile Click Front half of juvenile

DIET:
Mainly aquatic invertebrates and small vertebrates.

BREEDING:
This species constructs a relatively small (around 1.5 m wide x 0.5 m tall) mound nest, into which the female deposits between 7 and 20 eggs. Incubation time is approximately 85 days. The female exhibits parental care.

CONSERVATION:

Although this species was once found over the whole of the Philippines, it is now very critically threatened. In addition to this, very little is known about the natural history or ecology of the species, or its relationship with C. porosus, whose range it overlaps. More surveys are required to determine the present range. Initial population reduction was through commercial exploitation, although the current threat is mainly from removal of suitable habitat for agricultural purposes to satisfy a rapidly expanding human population. There is also very limited governmental support for any conservation measures, and the crocodiles are often killed by the local populace. This situation needs to be changed through awareness programs. Long-term captive breeding and release (through Silliman University and international breeding centres) is judged to be the best course to take at the present time, although it is imperative that a management program is drawn up for the remainder of the wild population (most of which resides in only one protected area). In 1992, there were estimated to be less than 1000 animals in the wild. In 1995, that estimate was revised to be no more than 100 non-hatchlings (note: hatchlings are rarely counted in surveys because their survivorship is so low).

MORE INFORMATION:
For more information on distribution and conservation issues for this species,see the CSG
Action Plan resource.

SIGNIFICANT REFERENCES:

  • Messel, H, King, FW, Webb, GJW & Ross, CA (1992). Summary report on the workshop on the prospects and future strategy of crocodile conservation of the two species (Crocodylus porosus, Crocodylus mindorensis) occurring in the Philippines. In: Crocodile Conservation Action. A Special Publication of the Crocodile Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. pp. 98-101
  • Ortega, GV, Regoniel, P & Ross, CA (1994). Status of the crocodiles in the Philippines. An update. In: Crocodiles. Proceedings of the 12th Working Meeting of the Crocodile Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. pp. 151-154
  • Ross, CA & Alcala, AC (1983). Distribution and status of the Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis). Philippine J. Biol. 12: 169-173
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