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Appendix r\ Crocodile Farming Around the World * Experiences with crocodile farming in Papua New Guinea, the main subject of this report, are described in chapter 2. Here we summarize the status of similar efforts in other countries. Australia Four crocodile farms have been established in Australia, one in the Northern Territory and three in Queensland. To date, only the Edward River farm, operated by the government as an aboriginal development project, has developed a successful breeding program. There, seven-year- old saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) hatched on the farm from wild eggs are now breeding and laying fertile eggs. Asia People's Republic of China A farm for Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) has been established at Xuancheng, Anhui Province. Its purpose is to breed alligators for con- servation, although the hide of this species is not in great demand be- cause it has many osteoderms in the belly scales. Recently the govern- ment has expressed interest in establishing a farm for saltwater crocodiles in southern China. Taiwan Taiwan has one crocodile farm or rearing station, but it is too far north to breed its own stock, except in heated indoor enclosures. *This chapter is based on material supplied by F. W. King. 26
REGULATIONS, SAFEGUARDS, AND RESEARCH NEEDS 25 â¢ Monitoring agencies to record and publish market statistics, traffic, and trends; â¢ Laws limiting the sale of hides only to nations that cooperate in an internationally sanctioned program of safeguards; and â¢ Research funding to monitor populations and develop new marking and identification techniques. (For instance, the use of dyes, roll mark- ing, and infusion of detectable chemical tracers has yet to be fully ex- plored.) Research Needs There is urgent need for tannery owners, manufacturers, and conser- vation authorities to jointly work out the rational exploitation of croc- odile populations. Commercial interests have reaped a rich reward over many years, and if the crocodile industry is to continue, its entrepreneurs must invest in management and conservation. Clearly, research to improve farming techniques will be a wise invest- ment for both commercial operators and the countries concerned. Sur- veys to determine population numbers and size as well as the structure of breeding stocks and recruitment rates are essential. Such surveys may indicate the need to establish sanctuaries to protect breeding stock and nesting grounds, or perhaps to ban hunting to allow populations to recover. A rearing program and restocking of suitable habitats might be necessary.