Saturday 15 June
Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis)
Siamese crocodile fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Siamese crocodile description
The Siamese crocodile is a small, freshwater crocodilian (a group that also includes alligators, caimans and the gharial), with a relatively broad, smooth snout and an elevated bony crest behind each eye (4). It is one of the most endangered crocodiles in the wild, although it is extensively bred in captivity (5).
- Crocodile Du Siam.
- Cocodrilo De Siam, Cocodrilo du Siam.
- Male length: 3 m (2)
Siamese crocodile biology
Adults feed mainly on fish but may also eat amphibians, reptiles and small mammals (2). Very little else is known about the natural history of this species in the wild, but females do appear to build mound-nests constructed from scraped-up plant debris mixed with mud (4). In captivity, these crocodiles breed during the wet season (April to May), laying between 20 and 50 eggs which are then guarded until they hatch (5). After incubation, the female will assist her young as they break out of their eggs and then carry the hatchlings to the water in her jaws (6).Top
Siamese crocodile range
Previously found throughout South East Asia but now extinct, or nearly extinct, from most countries except Cambodia (2).Top
Siamese crocodile habitat
The Siamese crocodile occurs along rainforest rivers and in adjacent swamps or lagoons (4).Top
Siamese crocodile statusTop
Siamese crocodile threats
Siamese crocodiles are under threat from human disturbance and habitat occupation, which is forcing remaining populations to the edges of their former range (5). The conversion of rainforest habitat to agricultural use along with aggressive hunting for crocodile skins, have contributed to the decline of this species of crocodile (5). In Cambodia, which is the species' last remaining stronghold, incursion into pristine habitat is now occurring through aid development programs, and the hunting of adult females for crocodile farm stock is reported to be widespread (2).Top
Siamese crocodile conservation
Until recently, very little data existed on Siamese crocodile numbers and distribution, a factor which led to the species being reported as virtually extinct in the wild in 1992 (5). Since then a large amount of research has been conducted and this has shown a slightly more encouraging picture, although the status is still hard to judge. Siamese crocodiles appear to be mainly found in Cambodia where updated estimates suggest a population of no greater than 5,000 individuals (2), though it may be considerably less (5). However, the species is extensively maintained and bred in captivity, in both Thailand and Cambodia, where it is farmed for the commercial value of its skins (2). The species is considered relatively inoffensive to humans, making restocking programmes a distinct possibility provided sufficient habitat is maintained and protected. Local people have been reported to protect crocodiles, which they view to be sacred (2). Programs are already underway in Thailand (2) and, although the future of the Siamese crocodile remains in the balance, there is more optimism than a decade ago.Top
Find out more
To find out more about the Siamese crocodile and about the conservation of crocodilians visit:
- IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group:
- Detailed range map for the Siamese crocodile:
Authenticated (06/05/03) by Adam Britton, Crocodilian.com.
- The act of incubating eggs; that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.
- IUCN Red List (October, 2002)
- Crocodilian Species List: Crocodylus siamensis (June, 2002)
- CITES (October, 2002)
- Steel, R. (1989) Crocodiles. Christopher Helm, London.
- Ross, R.P. (1998) Crocodiles: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Second Edition. IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. Available at:
- Alderton, D. (1991) Crocodiles and Alligators of the World. Blandford, London.
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.