The Philippine crocodile
Crocodiles in the Philippines

There are two species of crocodilians in the Philippines: in addition to the endemic Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis there is also the Saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus. The Saltwater crocodile occurs from India to Australia and is not globally threatened with extinction. In the Philippines however, saltwater crocodiles are now very rare and the species is locally extinct from most locations where it historically occured.

The Saltwater crocodile is normally found in coastal waters, mangroves, rivers and large lakes that are connected to the sea. It is also known as the Estuarine crocodile. This species is able to survive long periods in saltwater and is capable to travel long distances through open sea. It is the longest crocodile in the World with recorded maximum lengths of up to 6 meters. Because of its size, large adult Saltwater crocodiles are potentially very dangerous to people and are feared as occassional man-eaters.

The Philippine crocodile in contrast is much smaller with a maximum recorded length of about 3 meters. This species lives in freshwater habitats such as lakes, rivers and creeks but is also known to occassionaly venture into saltwater habitats such as mangrove forest and intertidal coastal areas, possibly when moving between coastal rivers. It has been found from sea level up to an elevation of 800 meters in the Cordillera Mountains although it normally does not live that high. 

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Saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus in coastal surf near Reina Mercedes, Maconacon, Isabela. © Merlijn van Weerd 2004

Saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus near Reina Mercedes, Maconacon, Isabela. © Merlijn van Weerd 2004

Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis in Dunoy Lake, San Mariano, Isabela. © Merlijn van Weerd 2007