Philippine crocodile

A critically endangered small crocodile native to the islands of the Philippines

Klaus Rudloff

Philippine crocodile


A critically endangered small crocodile native to the islands of the Philippines

Population 92 – 137
82% decline of population in the last 75 years

A critically endangered species endemic to the Philippines, it inhabits various freshwater habitats, including ponds, marshes, and minor rivers. Despite its classification as a freshwater crocodile, this species can also tolerate brackish water, making it adaptable to a range of aquatic environments within its native range.

Like other crocodiles, the Philippine freshwater crocodile is ectothermic, meaning it relies on external heat sources to regulate its body temperature. To warm themselves, these crocodiles bask in the sun during the day, absorbing solar radiation to raise their body temperature. When they become too hot, they may open their jaws to release excess heat, a behavior known as gaping.

One of the most alarming aspects of the Philippine crocodile’s status is its critically low population size, estimated to be only around 100 individuals in the wild. This extreme rarity underscores the urgent need for conservation efforts to protect and restore their habitat and bolster their population numbers.

Despite their precarious status, Philippine freshwater crocodiles play a vital ecological role in their ecosystems. Their diet primarily consists of fish, and interestingly, they have been observed to target sick or injured fish over healthy individuals preferentially. This selective predation behavior can have positive implications for maintaining the health and balance of fish populations, as it helps remove weak individuals and prevents the spread of diseases among fish populations.

Efforts to conserve the Philippine freshwater crocodile include habitat protection, captive breeding programs, and community-based conservation initiatives to raise awareness and promote coexistence between crocodiles and local communities.


Population est.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No