Govt says crocs out of danger

Govt says crocs out of danger

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will push for Siamese and saltwater crocodiles to be removed from an international list of critically endangered species.

The move would pave the way for international trade in the reptiles, which are included on Appendix 1 - a list of the world's most threatened species - by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).

Manopat Huamuangkaew, director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said yesterday the proposal would be put forward at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to Cites in Bangkok on March 13-14.

He said the department would propose that Cites move Siamese and saltwater crocodiles from Appendix I to Appendix II, which would allow regulated international trade in the reptiles.

Parntep Ratanakorn, dean of Mahidol University's faculty of veterinary science, said breeding programmes have helped increase Thailand's crocodile population to satisfactory levels.

He said the operators of 20 farms nationwide had invested in crocodile preservation programmes such as releasing the animals into the wild.

Allowing regulated international trade of crocodiles would generate funds that could be used to improve species preservation programmes, he said.

Mr Manopat said Thailand would also propose that Siamese rosewood, or phayung, be moved to from Appendix 1 to Appendix II in an attempt to deal with rampant illegal smuggling.

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