Newswise — (Bogor, Indonesia – February 26, 2018) – WCS Indonesia applauds the Government of East Kutai for celebrating the 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 which is critically endangered with a total wild population of just over 400.
Noviar said: “The East Kutai government has made a great choice by making the Siamese crocodile its mascot for this sporting event. Hundreds more people will learn more about this species and hopefully 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 for the East Kalimantan Provincial Games of 2018.
“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.’
“The new mascot, known locally as Buaya Badas, will serve as both a representative of the event and an ambassador to the wider community.
“We welcome East Kutai’s efforts to bring this increased attention to this crocodile and 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)—a designation intended to protect species of conservation concern outside of protected areas.
“Let the games begin in honor of all our efforts to protect the Siamese crocodile!”
MORE ABOUT SIAMESE CROCODILES
Listed on IUCN’s Red List as Critically Endangered, the global population of Siamese crocodiles is declining at an alarming rate. This species lives only in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. The total population is around 410 wild adults
WCS works in Indonesia and has implemented a species and habitat action plan to conserve Siamese crocodiles.
WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society)
MISSION: WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.