Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis)

loading
Siamese crocodile
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Siamese crocodile fact file

Siamese crocodile description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassReptilia
OrderCrocodylia
FamilyCrocodylidae
GenusCrocodylus (1)

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).

French
Crocodile Du Siam.
Spanish
Cocodrilo De Siam, Cocodrilo du Siam.
Size
Male length: 3 m (2)
Top

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 status

Classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List (1), and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Critically Endangered

Top

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.

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

To find out more about the Siamese crocodile and about the conservation of crocodilians visit:

Top

Authentication

Authenticated (06/05/03) by Adam Britton, Crocodilian.com.
http://crocodilian.com/

Top

Glossary

Incubation
The act of incubating eggs; that is, keeping them warm so that development is possible.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (October, 2002)
    http://www.redlist.org
  2. Crocodilian Species List: Crocodylus siamensis (June, 2002)
    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/cnhc/csp_csia.htm
  3. CITES (October, 2002)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. Steel, R. (1989) Crocodiles. Christopher Helm, London.
  5. 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:
    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/herpetology/act-plan/plan1998a.htm
  6. Alderton, D. (1991) Crocodiles and Alligators of the World. Blandford, London.
X
Close

Image credit

Siamese crocodile  
Siamese crocodile

© Masahiro Iijima / www.ardea.com

Ardea wildlife pets environment
59 Tranquil Vale
London
SE3 0BS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 208 318 1401
ardea@ardea.co.uk
http://www.ardea.com

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

This species is featured in:

This species is endangered. Visit our endangered species page to learn more.

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog RSS