Some background information

Heemskerk Travel Blog

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My journey

Hi everybody!

Before I begin this blog, let me give you some background, for this won't be a regular trip. I will be staying in the sunny Philippines for 4,5 months!

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My name is Jeroen Admiraal. I am a student biology at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, and am following the mastertrack “Biology and Communication”, for I have an interest in science communication. In science communication I can combine my profession with my hobbies and talents (writing and drawing). The internship of which this is an introduction will give me a golden opportunity to gain experience in many facets of science communication: writing, drawing, designing for and interacting with a variety of people with entirely different backgrounds in culture and education. This project will also be the closing internship of my master.

 

I will produce an illustrated manual on Philippine crocodile conservation to share the scientific knowledge and experience of the Dutch and Philippine scientists with local Philippine officials.

I'm gonna eat you. Source: Merlijn van Weerd/Mabuwaya Foundation
The manual will be a practical guide to crocodile conservation in which the full scientific knowledge and experience of the scientists will be shared in an easily accessible manner, so local Philippine officials can make us of this knowledge.

 

Some background on the Philippine crocodile and the CROC project:

 

The Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) is a relatively small freshwater crocodilian that can grow up to 2,5 meters and lives only in the Philippines. The crocodile was widely distributed throughout the Philippines, but nowadays is thought to be found only in a few upland localities in north Luzon and Mindanao. As of 2006, the Philippine crocodile is classified by IUCN as critically endangered. The population has decreased below critical threshold levels by intensive commercial hunting, unsustainable fishing and habitat loss.

Accurate representation of Philippine jungle (J. Admiraal)
 

 

The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, established in 1987 in response to alarming crocodile surveys in the 1980s, has successfully bred the Philippine crocodile in captivity, but so far no bred crocodiles have been introduced into the wild. The reintroduction of the crocodile into the wild is made impossible by the absence of effective protection of this species and its habitat, and by the negative view the community has towards crocodiles. Crocodiles are often compared to corrupt officials, greedy businessmen and many other negative images. Many rural peoples believe them to be the bearers of bad tidings. The crocodiles are also believed to be dangerous, yet there are no reported fatal unprovoked attacks of Philippine crocodiles on people.

 

In 1999 a small, fragmented population of the Philippine crocodile was discovered in the municipality of San Mariano, Isabela Province in northeast Luzon. The discovery provided new opportunities in conservation efforts to secure the survival of the species in the wild. Here, an alternate conservation strategy was developed, with focus on mobilizing public support for protecting the Philippine crocodile in its natural habitat, and creating sanctuaries for the crocodile with the consent and cooperation of local authorities and rural communities.

 

For this aim, the Crocodile Rehabilitation, Observance and Conservation (CROC) project has been established: a joint research and education program of Isabela State University and Leiden University from The NetherlandsCROC endorses public awareness for public support of crocodile conservation by producing books, calendars, posters, billboards, cultural shows and more. As a result of this awareness campaign Philippine crocodiles are no longer purposively killed in San Mariano.

 

In addition to the billboards, cultural shows, workshops and more that the CROC project has undertaken, an illustrated manual on Philippine crocodile conservation can successfully add to the local support of crocodile sanctuaries. This will be my job.

 

junartkim says:
Nice experience! It's saddening to know though that 'Lolong', the largest crocodile to date, has recently died. :(
Posted on: Feb 10, 2013
iodized_96 says:
Thank you for your marvelous work and helping out in the conservation and preservation of Phil. crocs. and making us aware of its dwindling nos. Keep It up and Mabuhay Ka. Thumbs up :)
Posted on: Jun 17, 2009
nomaden says:
Hmm.. Reading this reminds me of my marine bio friends who worked on conserving Pawikan (turtles).
Posted on: May 25, 2009
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My journey
My journey
Im gonna eat you. Source: Merlijn…
I'm gonna eat you. Source: Merlij…
Accurate representation of Philipp…
Accurate representation of Philip…
Heemskerk
photo by: Jeroenadmiraal