The Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong, have been supporting our work financially for several years now. Two projects have been completed, and a third one has just started.
2008-2009: Monitoring the movement towards the recovery of the Philippine crocodile Crocodylus mindorensis in the wild
This was a telemetry study. We captured 7 individual crocodiles in the course of 2008 and 2009, and attached a transmitter so we could follow them around. The results were very interesting. Some crocodiles use large home-ranges, stretching over several kilometres of river, while other crocodiles keep to a small home-range of only several hundred meters in a small creek. Juveniles live in the river for a large part of the year, however return to small ponds, which they apparently remember from years ago, to shelter when heavy rains cause the rivers to rise. These and other results can be found in the final report, which can be downloaded here
2010-2011: Communities, Students and Conservationists; Protecting crocodiles together
Continuing the important work of the previous OPCFHK grant, this project focussed on a new breeding site that was discovered in the last year; Dicamay River in the village of Tappa. Again hatchlings were found here and those were raised in our head-start program. This time there were 7 live hatchlings instead of only 3 in the first year. Part of the river was declared as a crocodile sanctuary and this area was completely mapped. To compensate people who can no longer use the river for bathing and washing clothes, several pump wells were installed in the village. These and other results can be found in the final report, which can be downloaded here
2011-2012: How to reintroduce a crocodile? Assessing the effectiveness of different release strategies for the Philippine crocodile
The hatchlings from Tappa born in 2009 had been released back into the wild in January 2011. The site we chose to release the head-started juveniles was Gapgap lake, inside the Sierra Madre Natural Park and upstream of Dunoy Lake, right next to Catalangan River. However they didn’t stay there. Within days they had all left the lake and went into the fast flowing river, with the result that only about half of them could be found several months later. We thought Gapgap Lake would be very suitable, since it looks similar to Dunoy Lake or Narra Lake, which were previous release sites. This project will focus on the suitability of release sites and the factors influencing them.
Newly established crocodile sanctuary in Dicamay River, Tappa