Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) was delighted that the Government of East Kutai, Indonesia chose Siamese crocodile as the mascot for the East Kalimantan Provincial Games of 2018.
Noviar Andayani, director of WCS Indonesia, was enthusiastic about the choice as it will bring needed recognition to the crocodile.
She said, “The East Kutai government has made a great choice by making the Siamese crocodile its mascot for this sporting event.
Noviar stated with this hundreds more people will learn more about this species. Hopefully, they see the importance of the conservation efforts to ensure it does not go extinct.
“The Siamese crocodile has a total wild population of just over 400 adults. Lake Mesangat , located within East Kutais, is home to the only known extant population of Siamese crocodiles in Indonesia.
“We congratulate The Bupati, who is the Head of the of East Kutai District and also the Chairperson of this event, for designating this species to be the mascot.
“The Bupati explained his decision, ‘Siamese crocodiles have a unique character compared to other reptiles in general. Compared to estuarine crocodiles, its character is very fierce. But if not disturbed or threatened, the crocodile will not act aggressively. On the other hand, if it is disturbed, it will bite and become more dangerous.’
“Locally as Buaya Badas, it will serve as both a representative of the event and an ambassador to the wider community.”
WCS welcome East Kutai’s efforts to bring this increased attention to this crocodile. Plus, other efforts for helping to bolster pride for stakeholders, local communities, and others about the Siamese crocodile and its habitat in Lake Mesangat.
While this critical habitat is not part of a protected area, it has been proposed that Lake Mesangat be designated as an Essential Ecosystem Area (EEA). It is a designation to protect species of conservation concern outside of protected areas.
More about Siamese crocodile
The global population of Siamese crocodiles is declining at an alarming rate. Furthermore, it is being listed on IUCN’s Red List as Critically Endangered.
This species lives only in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Moreover, the total population is only 410 adults in the wild.
WCS works in Indonesia and has implemented a species and habitat action plan to conserve Siamese crocodiles. Source: WCS