Let Us Now Praise Crocodilians

Heres a program from our archives.Crocodile populations are being threatened on many fronts throughout the world. As their numbers continue to decrease, the loss will be felt in local ecosystems. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, crocodile The sounds we’re listening to are being made by a young alligator. Telling us more about alligators and other crocodilians is Dr. Myrna Watanabe.Watanabe: The current state of world crocodilians is fairly poor. Most species are utilizable by the trade, frequently illegally to the fullest extent. And even ones that are not utilizable such as the Chinese Alligator, which has skin with heavy, bony plates and is very, very hard to do anything with, is in a terrible state because of loss of habitat, because of people’s negative attitudes towards the animals, pollution, all of these factors severely affect the crocodilian populations in the world.Why is it so important to protect the crocodile?Watanabe: Aside from the very esoteric reason that we should do this to preserve biodiversity, there is a real ecological reason for protecting crocodilian species. Crocodilians are extremely important in maintaining habitats in wetlands for other species. So for example, if you have a wetland, the animals digs out an area, lives there. This may be the only standing water in dry periods. Therefore, what lives in the water are fish, plants, that may be your only source of food. Without the crocodilians, during dry seasons there will be nothing alive. The wetland will be a desert and the wetlands will disappear. So it is to our benefit to make sure crocodilians survive. And if we are so short-sighted to allow them to be hunted into oblivion, we will end up suffering tremendously.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.

Let Us Now Praise Crocodilians

What role do crocodiles play in their ecosystem?
Air Date:11/21/2018
Scientist:
Transcript:

Heres a program from our archives.Crocodile populations are being threatened on many fronts throughout the world. As their numbers continue to decrease, the loss will be felt in local ecosystems. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.ambience, crocodile The sounds we're listening to are being made by a young alligator. Telling us more about alligators and other crocodilians is Dr. Myrna Watanabe.Watanabe: The current state of world crocodilians is fairly poor. Most species are utilizable by the trade, frequently illegally to the fullest extent. And even ones that are not utilizable such as the Chinese Alligator, which has skin with heavy, bony plates and is very, very hard to do anything with, is in a terrible state because of loss of habitat, because of people's negative attitudes towards the animals, pollution, all of these factors severely affect the crocodilian populations in the world.Why is it so important to protect the crocodile?Watanabe: Aside from the very esoteric reason that we should do this to preserve biodiversity, there is a real ecological reason for protecting crocodilian species. Crocodilians are extremely important in maintaining habitats in wetlands for other species. So for example, if you have a wetland, the animals digs out an area, lives there. This may be the only standing water in dry periods. Therefore, what lives in the water are fish, plants, that may be your only source of food. Without the crocodilians, during dry seasons there will be nothing alive. The wetland will be a desert and the wetlands will disappear. So it is to our benefit to make sure crocodilians survive. And if we are so short-sighted to allow them to be hunted into oblivion, we will end up suffering tremendously.This archival program is part of our thirtieth anniversary celebration. If you want hear more, check out our podcast.