The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), as a member of the Philippine CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Scientific Authority (CSA), was represented by the Bureau Director, Dr. Henry A. Adornado, in paying a visit to the crocodile farm in Teresa, Rizal last February 26, 2016. The visit was part of the evaluation for the Coral Agri-venture Farm, Inc. (CAVFI)’s application for CITES Registration for the breeding operations of Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus).

Before the tour around the farm, Director Adornado, along with Dr. Simplicia A. Pasicolan (Chief Science Research Specialist) and Ms. Girlie H. Rueda (Science Research Analyst) had an initial meeting with the CAVFI Biologist, Mr. Rainier Manalo and Farm Manager, Mr. Brian Sibongga. During the meeting, the Director inquired about the CAVFI’s farming permit, sources of parental breeding stocks, individual identification of crocodiles, storage for the processed meat and export of crocodile products, among others.

Breeding facilities within the 10-hectare farm including the breeding pens, nursery, growing pens, finishing pens, slaughter and storage areas were keenly observed by the Director.

Captive breeding could make a valuable contribution in conserving the dwindling stocks of saltwater crocodiles. It can reduce the pressure on wild populations while contributing to economic growth. A week following the visit, all CSA members composed of ERDB, UPLB-Institute of Biological Sciences (UPLB-IBS) and Philippine National Museum (PNM) convened to discuss matters concerning CAVFI application. They eventually favorably endorsed it to CITES Management Authority (Biodiversity Management Bureau) for consideration and further endorsement to CITES Secretariat. Girlie H. Rueda, UERD