Seventeen critically endangered juvenile Siamese crocodiles were released this week into a protected wetland in Laos, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced.
The release is part of a programme to assist the recovery of the local Siamese crocodile population and restoration of associated wetlands, linked by socio-economic incentives that improve local livelihoods.
“The one-to-two-year-old crocodiles, which range between 50-100 cm (20-39 inches) in length, were raised in facilities managed by local communities working with WCS to protect the endangered reptiles and their habitat,” the New York-based conservation charity said in a news statement.
The juvenile crocodiles were released into the Xe Champhone wetland, Than Soum village, Savannakhet province, one of two RAMSAR wetland sites in the country. Laos became a signatory to the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands in 2010.
The release of the crocodiles is part of the Community-based Crocodile Recovery and Livelihood Improvement Project, designed and implemented by WCS's Lao programme.