Chinese Alligators Make an Amazing Comeback

Image: Facebook
Image: Facebook

Recent efforts in Shanghai, China have resulted in the successful birth of baby alligators in the wild — providing hope for the regrowth of a critically endangered population.

Alligator sinensis is the scientific name for the Chinese alligator and is one of only two species of alligators remaining in the entire world, the other being Alligator mississippiensis, the American alligator. The Chinese Alligator is endemic to Eastern China and has historically ranged in large numbers across the country. Industrialization and exponential population growth throughout the early 1990s resulted in widespread habitat destruction and by the 1970s the species persisted in small numbers throughout parts of southern Anhui and the Zhejiang provinces.

Today, less than 150 Chinese alligators remain in the wild, in scattered families throughout limited wetland areas — making for difficult natural reproduction.

Beginning in 2007, scientists out of East China Normal University paired with the Chongming Dongtan Wetland Park and local zoos to introduce captive-bred Chinese alligators into wild families located in Dongtan Wetland Park in Shanghai. Twelve genetically diversified animals have since been released into the dwindling population.

Image: Wikimedia Commons
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The project has thus far been successful, confirmed by the discovery of a first batch of hatchlings only one year after the initial captive-bred species integration.

In September earlier this year three baby alligators were photographed in Dongtan Wetland Park, protected by the government’s continued support of the repopulation program. 

The Wildlife Conservation Society officially reported these findings at a conference in late October, offering substantial public proof of an effective method to save this dying species.

Similar to the American alligator, only recently removed from the endangered species list and now roaming in widespread numbers, restoration of the Chinese alligator in the wild may prove to an inspiring conservation success story.

    

The Latest

Experts Push for Humane Euthanasia of Invasive Species

Experts Push for Humane Euthanasia of Invasive Species

A group has started looking at the culling methods of “unwanted animals” to determine if there are better ways.  Invasive species are often considered pests in their non-native homes, including possums, rabbits, beavers, cats, and...

Warmer Temperatures Will Make Predators Fiercer

Warmer Temperatures Will Make Predators Fiercer

Image: Wikimedia Commons Predators will start becoming even fiercer as global temperatures rise, says a new study that looked at how warmer conditions could affect diversity and competition between species. According to a...

Octopus ‘Masters Of Disguise’ Are Completely Colorblind

Octopus ‘Masters Of Disguise’ Are Completely Colorblind

Researchers have just confirmed that while cephalopods (octopus, cuttlefish and squid) are experts at camouflaging themselves, they’re completely colorblind. Professor Justin Marshall and Dr Wen-Sung Chung of the Queensland Brain Institute studied octopus...

Giant New Species of Ghost Shark Wields Bizarre Buckteeth

Giant New Species of Ghost Shark Wields Bizarre Buckteeth

The mystical ghost shark has inhabited the deepest ocean depths since before the age of the dinosaurs and scientists have just recently discovered the 50th species — reportedly the second largest in history. Ghost...

You Can’t Unsee This Weird Giant Shipworm

You Can’t Unsee This Weird Giant Shipworm

A giant worm-like sea creature the size of a baseball bat was recently spotted by scientists for the first time, and you may wish you’d never seen them. Though their long, tusk-like shells...

This May Be Why ‘Man-Eating’ Lions Targeted Humans

This May Be Why ‘Man-Eating’ Lions Targeted Humans

Image: Wikimedia Commons Humans typically aren’t a favorite menu item for lions, but occasionally, they do prey on people. Perhaps the most infamous incident was in 1898, when a pair of lions went on...

ABOUT US

Roaring Earth brings you thrilling, unique and thought-provoking stories about the natural world. From the wildest places on earth, to extraordinary encounters in our own backyards. Whether shot by a world-renowned filmmaker with the most exclusive camera equipment or by you on your smart phone or trail cam, we are sharing stories that are rarely covered and giving a voice to to the wildlife enthusiast within us all.

The Latest

More Roaring Videos