The Chinese Alligator, Alligator sinensis, is listed as ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. One of the smallest and most endangered of the crocodilians, it is restricted to the lower Yangtze valley in the Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces in China.
Habitat destruction has been the major cause of the Chinese Alligator’s decline, and wetland areas continue to be modified for agriculture in an effort to cope with intense human population pressures. There are now estimated to be less than 150 Chinese Alligators remaining in the wild, all of which occur in highly fragmented subpopulations, each comprising no more than 10 individuals.
In contrast to the decimated wild population, the breeding of captive Chinese Alligators has been very successful and the captive population currently exceeds 10,000 individuals. Chinese authorities have now begun experimental restocking of wild habitats with captive-bred alligators, and are investigating new sites for further reintroductions. The success of the restocking program is likely to be critical to the long-term survival of the Chinese Alligator.
To learn more about the Chinese Alligator, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.