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Frequently Asked Questions

What's the most endangered crocodile?
With less than 100 adults in the wild, the most endangered crocodile in the world is the Philippine crocodile, Crocodylus mindorensis. The most endangered alligator is the Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis having less than 150 adults.

What is causing crocodilians to become endangered?

There is no one cause for the decline of crocodilian populations around the world. Depending on the species, there are some common factors that have had an effect on wild populations. These factors are: habitat destruction, hunting for skins & meat, human interaction and even competition between species living in the same habitats.

How many species of crocodilians are there?

23 species are typically recognized but that will likely change soon. The Nile Crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) is actually two species, the African Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) is possibly three species, the New Guinea Crocodile (Crocodylus novaeguineae) two species, and the Brown Caiman (Caiman crocodilus fuscus) is potentially unique as well.

Where can I see all 23 Crocodilian Species?

The only zoo in the world with all 23 species of crocodilians on display is the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, Florida.

What is the largest crocodilian species and smallest crocodilian species?

The biggest species is usually considered to be the Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) at about 23 feet (7 m), though the Indian Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) probably achieves that length as well. The smallest species is usually thought to be the Dwarf Caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus), with males attaining lengths of about 5 feet (1.5 m-1.6 m) and females 4 feet (1.2 m). If the Congo (or Osborn's) Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis osborni) is considered a separate species, it would likely be the smallest.

How many species/what species are currently listed as critically endangered, endangered or threatened?

Six species of crocodilians are on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered: The Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis), Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius), Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis), Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer), Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis), Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus). The Malayan gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) is currently listed as Endangered. Finally, the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus), Mugger Crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), West African Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) are all considered to be of a Vulnerable (Threatened) status.

What are some of the conservation and research projects the Crocodilian Advisory Group (CAG) has/is supporting?

Through the CAG's fundraising efforts, we have partnered with other crocodilian groups (IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group, the Wildlife Conservation Society & the Gharial Conservation Alliance) internationally to support conservation, research & education projects. Some of these projects include:

  • Habitat restoration & reintroduction (including radio tracking) of the Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis).
  • Funding of international workshops for Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinensis) conservation.
  • Habitat surveys for the Malay gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii).
  • Survey equipment for population surveys of the Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus).
  • Funding of travel for crocodilian biologists to India during the large die-off of the Indian Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) in December of 2007.
  • Community level education & conservation programs for the Philippine Crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis).

How Can I Help?

100% of your tax deductible donation goes to the Crocodilian Advisory Group's efforts in the conservation & research of the most endangered crocodilian species. Obviously there are many species that need our help so any amount helps! If you would like to help or have any questions, contact the CAG Fundraising Chair, Emily Maple at emaple@palmbeachzoo.org.

For more information on crocodilians, we recommend the following links:


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