Crocodile Conservation Initiative (CCI) is a conservation program aimed at protecting crocodilian species and their habitats. Crocodilians are a group of reptiles that include crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gharials. Many species of crocodilians are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.
CCI was launched in 2007 by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in collaboration with the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) and the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. The initiative focuses on conservation activities in India, where several species of crocodilians are found.
The main objectives of CCI include:
- Habitat restoration: The initiative works to restore degraded habitats by planting native vegetation and controlling invasive species. It also supports the creation and management of protected areas for crocodilians.
- Population management: The initiative involves monitoring the populations of crocodilians and their health, as well as conducting research on their behavior and ecology. It also involves capturing and relocating crocodilians to reduce the risk of human-wildlife conflict.
- Community-based conservation: CCI works with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of crocodilians and their habitats. It also supports sustainable livelihoods that do not rely on habitat destruction or poaching.
- Anti-poaching measures: The initiative works with law enforcement agencies to crack down on poaching and illegal wildlife trade. It also supports efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict and prevent retaliatory killing of crocodilians by local communities.
CCI has been successful in achieving several conservation milestones, including the establishment of protected areas for crocodilians and the rescue and rehabilitation of injured crocodilians. The initiative has also helped to reduce human-crocodile conflict and raise awareness about the importance of crocodilians to local communities. However, more needs to be done to ensure the long-term survival of crocodilian species, especially those that are critically endangered.