As the CSGs Tomistoma Task Force enters its second decade, we can look back at some major progress toward our goal of sustainable conservation actions for Tomistoma schlegelii.
We have assisted with the planning or funding of several surveys within range states of Tomistoma, as well as revising the IUCN Red List account for the species, the CSG’s Action Plan for the species, and helping to encourage more scientists to study this crocodilian, which remains poorly understood.
Given the cryptic nature of Tomistoma, it has always been a difficult animal to study. We’ve managed to support several surveys that now have helped us fill in some of the gaps across the range.
Within captive collections, Tomistoma has proven especially difficult to breed outside of its natural range. However, over the past decade, we have now seen the captive propogation of Tomistoma in several facilities. These breeding programs have helped us to learn more about the husbandry and behaviour of the species. With a number of other zoos housing mature pairs of Tomistoma, we are confident that more zoos will be breeding the species in the next few years.
Another key action that has happened since TTF formed is that crocodilian experts have agreed to no longer use the common name of ‘false gharial’ for Tomistoma. This was to avoid confusion that can result from the use of the name ‘false gharial’.
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