Willem van de Ven
MSc. Biology, Mabuway Foundation Inc.
Research: Determining the effectiveness of 10 year community-based Philippine crocodile conservation action in San Mariano
Species/Topic: Philippine crocodile
Abstract: The critically endangered Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis is considered a top priority species for conservation by the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group. Population estimates in the 1990s suggest less than 100 mature individuals survive in the wild. Following the discovery of a remnant population in San Mariano in 1999, a grassroots conservation project was implemented. This has been successful in halting the decline in the population. Recovery however is slow as a result of low recruitment rates. A head-start program was initiated in 2007: hatchlings are collected from the wild and released back into the wild after 14-18 months. The purpose of the here proposed project is to gather reliable information on the total population size of Philippine crocodiles in San Mariano, determine the effectiveness of head starting Philippine crocodiles and determine optimal release strategies. The results will lead to improved conservation action.