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Mainmahla Island Wildlife Sanctuary protects endangered crocodiles

Photo: Zar Nyi Myint
Photo: Zar Nyi Myint

ENDANGERED species of crocodile are being held for protection in the Mainmahla Island Wildlife Sanctuary along the coastal in Bogale Township, Ayeyawady Region, by the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.
The endangered crocodile species remains only in the wild Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, East Timor and Myanmar.
Myanmar legally exported 1,830 crocodiles over the past six years. The government has stopped the export of crocodiles since 1994, after enacting a law to protect wildlife and the environment. According to the law, crocodile smugglers can be punished with at least three years in prison for illegal trading.
Although the government stopped the sale of crocodiles abroad, illegal hunting and trading still takes place in the country as the skins and other parts of the crocodile’s body are marketable on the international market. This has led to a gradually decline in the local crocodile population.
There are currently over 100 crocodiles in the sanctuary, half of which are baby crocodiles. Before 1990, the population of crocodiles was over 3,000 around Mainmahla Island, which has been designated as a wildlife sanctuary since 1993 to protect wild animals, plants and their habitats.
Myanmar’s wild crocodiles can generally be found in the eastern part of the Bogale River and the western part of the Kadonkani River. Some people have reported seeing crocodiles measuring up to 6 metres long. The crocodiles in the area can live up to 100 years.
Departmental officials in cooperation with non-government organisations have conducted crocodile population surveys every December.—Zar Nyi Myint

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