False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii)

Interesting :

The False Gharial is medium sized. The length is 4.5 meters, the color is dark brown. The mouth is tapered like a needle. If the big flat used to swim.

Habitat :

Brunei, Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. HABITAT AND ECOLOGY Tomistoma schlegelii is a freshwater, mound-nesting species. It is among the largest of the extant crocodilians, with males attaining lengths up to 5+ m (Bezuijen et al. 1998, 2004; authors pers. obs.). It is restricted primarily to lowland swamps, lakes and rivers. Most records are from peat swamp and freshwater swamp forest (Stuebing et al. 2006), which historically encompassed most of the lowlands of Borneo, eastern Sumatra, and Peninsular Malaysia. The ecology of T. schlegelii, including nesting, size and age of sexual maturity, diet, and population demography, remains poorly known. Fewer than 20 wild nests have been documented. Most nests in Sumatra and Kalimantan have been located at the base of large trees in mature peat swamp forest, along remote tributaries (Endert 1927, Bezuijen et al. 2001, Staniewicz 2011). In Sarawak, a nest was located in degraded forest at the edge of cultivated land (Lading and Stuebing 1997). Nests have been reported from floating vegetation mats (Ross et al. 1998). Nesting occurs in the dry season and small clutches (13-41 eggs) are laid (Endert 1927, Bezuijen et al. 2001). Hatchlings emerge in the late dry season / early wet season after an estimated 70-80 days incubation (Bezuijen et al. 1997). Tomistoma schlegelii produces the largest eggs of all living crocodilians (Bezuijen et al. 1998). Sexual maturity in females appears to be attained at around 2.5-3 m total length and 20 years age (Bezuijen et al. 1998, Shwedick 2006, Brazaitis and Abene 2008; B. Ziegler [Miami Metro Zoo, USA] pers. comm. to J.P. Ross 1995; U. Youngprapakorn [Utairatch Crocodile Farm & Zoo, Thailand]) pers. comm. to authors 2008), a relatively large size and late age compared with other crocodilians. Müller (1838) stated the diet of T. schlegelii comprised fish, monitor lizards (Varanus), waterbirds and mammals. Predation of monkeys by T. schlegelii has been observed (Galdikas and Yeager 1984, Galdikas 1985, Yeager 1991). Stomach contents of juvenile wild T. schleglii included shrimp (Bezuijen et al. 1998) and other invertebrates (Staniewicz and Behler 2010). Other scientific studies of T. schlegelii have included assessment of its taxonomic status (see Taxonomic Notes), anatomy and skin qualities (e.g. Boulenger 1896, King and Brazaitis 1971, Brazaitis 1973, Fuchs 2006), potential impacts of climate change (Bickford et al. 2010), conservation effectiveness of protected area networks (Rödder et al. 2010), and captive breeding and management (see Conservation Measures).

Food :

Because they have small mouths, their food is shrimp, crab, insect, and small mammal.

Behavior :

They like to live in rivers, lakes, calm water and mangroves.

Current Status :

Classified as Vulnerable (VU)on the IUCN Red List (2017) .Listed on Appendix I of CITES. Since the 1990s, rapid status assessments for T. schlegelii have been conducted in East and Central Kalimantan (Frazier 1994, Muin and Ramono 1994, Ross et al. 1998, Staniewicz 2011), Central Kalimantan (Auliya et al. 2006, Bonke 2006, Simpson 2004), West Kalimantan (Auliya 2000, Bezuijen et al. 2004, Simpson and Mediyansyah 2009), Sumatra (Bezuijen et al. 1998, 2002), and Peninsular Malaysia (Simpson et al. 1998). Reviews of national or global distribution (Sebastian 1994; Stuebing et al. 2004, 2006) have been prepared. The first dedicated research project on the species was conducted from 1995-1997 and resulted in a status assessment for Sumatra as well as new data on the ecology of T. schlegelii (Bezuijen et al. 1998, 2001). In 2001-2002, largely through the voluntary efforts of MRB and G.J.W. Webb, repeat-surveys were conducted at two sites in Sumatra, and the first Indonesian workshop on T. schlegelii was held (Bezuijen et al. 2001, 2002). Sumatran agencies and NGOs subsequently conducted additional surveys which resulted in the discovery of a new nesting site and protection of swamp forest (Bezuijen 2004). These various efforts have resulted in new information on the distribution, status, breeding biology and of ecology of T. schlegelii. In 2003, the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) formed the Tomistoma Task Force (TTF), a group of CSG members who coordinate the CSG’s efforts for T. schlegelii conservation. TTF activities comprise fundraising for field research, international awareness-raising, and hosting of a TTF website. Fund-raising events have been held in North America and Europe, largely due to the voluntary efforts of BS, R. Sommerlad and other CSG members. Two T. schlegelii student projects have been co-funded and are the first detailed autecological studies of the species. TTF reports have been prepared on global conservation priorities (Bezuijen et al. 2003) and husbandry standards for captive breeding of T. schlegelii (Shwedick and Sommerlad 2000, Shwedick 2006). In 2008, a TTF workshop was held and a re-assessment of global conservation priorities was undertaken. Other initiatives include the following. In 2009, a foundation, Yayasan Ulin, was established in East Kalimantan by RBS to promote wetland and crocodile conservation. This has resulted in co-management agreements with a plantation company to conserve crocodile habitats, support for two international internships studying T. schlegelii and Crocodylus siamensis, and the identification of wetland sites important for biodiversity conservation (Yayasan Ulin 2012). In West Kalimantan, the People, Resources, and Conservation Foundation (PRCF) is planning T. schlegelii conservation activities in Danau Sentarum National Park, to build on surveys in 2004 (Bezuijen et al. 2004). In the nearby Lake Siawan-Belida area, Fauna & Flora International are developing an ecosystem restoration project to manage the swamp forest, including T. schlegelii (Simpson and Mediyansyah 2009). In Sumatra, the non-government organization Wahana Bumi Hijau is implementing a project ‘Protection of the Senyulong crocodile habitat in the Merang-Kepayang peat swamp forest’ [south-east Sumatra]. In 2009 the project received technical assistance from IUCN Netherlands and Mabuwaya Foundation (Philippines) (Weerd and Balbas 2009). In nearby Berbak National Park, the Zoological Society of London is developing the ‘Berbak Carbon Initiative’ to develop carbon markets to protect swamp forest (Suratno and Maddox 2010), which may indirectly benefit local T. schlegelii populations. In 2010 the CSG Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan was updated, including an update on status and conservation priorities for T. schlegelii (Bezuijen et al. 2010). Despite these efforts, T. schlegelii conservation is constrained by a lack of long-term research and conservation programs. Virtually all initiatives are conducted with limited funds, often on a voluntary basis, and by virtue of their brief duration have not been sufficient to develop expanded conservation programs. There is a need to assign and fund full-time persons who will coordinate T. schlegelii conservation efforts, including the preparation of funding proposals and lobbying for integration of T. schlegelii into the workplans of provincial governments and international projects. Tomistoma schlegelii has no commercial skin value, precluding conservation efforts based on ranching as conducted for some other crocodilians.


CLASS : Reptilia

ORDER : Crocodylia

FAMILY : Crocodylidae

GENUS : Tomistoma

SPECIES : False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii)

Conservation status : Vulnerable

Reference :

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Point of view :

Update : 11 April 2017