Xe Champhone Crocodile Conservation Area, a new tourist destination

14/05/2024 15:22
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KPL (KPL) Four districts - Xonnaboury, Champhone, Songkhone and Xaybouly - in Savannakhet Province have become new tourist destinations that promote sustainable conservation of aquatic animals and wildlife.

(KPL) Four districts - Xonnaboury, Champhone, Songkhone and Xaybouly - in Savannakhet Province have become new tourist destinations that promote sustainable conservation of aquatic animals and wildlife.

Authorities of Savannakhet Province, in cooperation with the Lao PDR Wildlife Conservation Organization, organize a ceremony to release 37 small freshwater crocodiles back to their natural habitats along the Xe Champhone River to restore biodiversity in the localities.

Up to 120 freshwater crocodiles have been taken care of for two years by the village crocodile conservation team. They will be released into nature when they reach required age.

Local people believe that these crocodiles are sacred creatures that can protect the villagers from harms and bring them good fortunes.

According to wildlife experts, this indigenous type of freshwater crocodiles is neither aggressive nor harmful to humans. People who live near the protection area are still be able to fish and cultivate crops in the surrounding areas.

The lake nearby the Xe Champhone River has become a spot of interest for both domestic and foreign tourists who wish to expose to nature, enrich knowledge of biodiversity and experience local lifestyles.

Recently, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in the Lao PDR together with partners from the government sector and the Biodiversity Conservation Committee at Ban Natai village surveyed the conservation area and collected freshwater crocodile eggs from a natural nest near the Ramsar Xe Champhone River in Champhone district, Savannakhet Province.

A mother crocodile was identified and confirmed as a crocodile that was brought to the shelter and released back into the nature 8 years ago. This recorded case shows that the freshwater crocodiles nurtured at the shelter can grow up, build their own nests and lay their own eggs after being released into the wild.

Mr Samuel Leslie, a technical director at WCS in Savannakhet Province, said: water crocodiles are animals that are on the verge of extinction, which number less than 1,000 in their natural habitats. Today, it is found that less than 5% of the eggs laid naturally survive to maturity. In Ramsa Sechamphon area, the conservation team collects eggs from 2-3 natural nests every year and helps to raise the young for 2 years until the baby crocodiles are almost 1 meter long and then released back into the nature so that the crocodile population in the wetland areas of the Xe Champhone River can recover more and faster.

KPL

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