Philippines: Crocodile Hunting May Open, Plus New Buffalo Species


Published: November - 2007

Jay Carlson of Mindoro Safaris in the Philippines has news about the hunts he conducts there. His most exciting news concerned the possible opening of hunting for saltwater crocodiles. Unfortunately, hunters from the US and EU will probably not be able to import these animals, but that should not stop hunters from Mexico, South America and other parts of the world from doing so.

Carlson says he is working with the Philippine government to issue export permits for this species under a trophy hunting program. Seems there is a large population of these animals in an area where the former Marcos government abandoned a crocodile farming scheme. Carlson says a plan to export hides commercially fell apart when importers boycotted skins from the Philippines. Now, Carlson says he has gotten the government interested in producing revenue from these animals by allowing a limited number of sport- hunters to take some of the 12- to 18-foot crocodiles that have been seen in the area. Carlson did not want to speculate when the program would become a reality, but he promised to keep us up to date.

On another matter, Carlson said he is trying to get a variety of buffalo he hunts recognized as a new species. For the past couple of years, he has been collecting information to submit to the SCI Record Book Committee in hopes that they will create a new category in the Philippines. The animal in question is one that subscriber and former SCI Record Book Committee member Dave Hanlin first told us about three years ago (see Article ID 1312). Originally, Hanlin and Carlson thought the animal may be a cross between Asian water buffalo and the tamaraw, which is an endangered species on the Appendix I of CITES. Well, it now seems there is a possibility this animal is not a cross after all and may indeed be a unique species. Carlson says DNA testing conducted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service identified it as an interesting species, not a regular Asian water buffalo and definitely not a tamaraw. He says........(continued)

 
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