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22 February 2010

SPECIES OF THE DAY: THE CHINESE ALLIGATOR

One of the most endangered crocodilians, the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinesis) is also one of the smallest (about 2 m long). This relative of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) has a geographic distribution restricted to the lower Yangtze River region in China. Habitat destruction by human pressure for agriculture has been considered the major cause of the species’ decline. It is listed as “Critically Endangered” since it has suffered a drastic decline in numbers of wild individuals (estimated to be less than 150) and the extant populations hold less than 10 individuals each. However, about 10,000 specimens are currently being reared in captivity and are a source of hope for the long-term survival of the species through reintroductions in the wild.
To learn more about this species, visit the "Species of the Day" section at the rigth column of this blog, below our statistics gadget, or visit the official IUCN website

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