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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 04, 2003 at 21:15:37:
THE NATION (Bangkok, Thailand) 05 March 03 Beung Boraped Lake: Crocodiles set to return after 20 years (Pennapa Hongthong)
For Plodprasop Suraswadi, permanent secretary of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, a plan to reintroduce crocodiles into the Beung Boraped freshwater lake is a "gift" for both crocodiles and people.
But for conservationist Pisit na Pattalung the reintroduction might prove to be a disaster since the lake, which had previously been a perfect habitat for the species, is a hazardous place for crocodiles now.
Eco-tourism advocate Thorn Thamrongnavasawadi said the plan would be a nightmare for tourists who enjoyed rowing on the lake.
"Imagine how you would feel rowing about on water with a hundred crocodiles swimming beneath you," he said.
Plodprasop said 100 crocodiles are due to be released into the lake by the end of the month.
The manmade lake in Nakhon Sawan province is a former habitat for freshwater crocodiles, the last of which disappeared from the lake about two decades ago.
It is also a popular tourist spot due to the hundreds of species of birds, both migratory and local, which flock to the area.
The Department of Fisheries has been using the lake as a breeding centre for the crocodiles, but only in a limited area to prevent accidents involving humans.
Plodprasop said that the lake is a perfect place for the species to be reintroduced as its ecosystem and environment are almost the same as they were when crocodiles previously inhabited the area.
He said that only young crocodiles would be reintroduced since they could adapt to the new environment quicker than older ones.
The reintroduction programme, he said, would bring the species closer to wildlife lovers and would see them set free in a place that was once the habitat of their ancestors.
He said that he had surveyed the opinions of people living nearby and that they were positive about the idea.
"I completed my doctorate on environmental management with a thesis on Beung Boraped. I dare say I know more about Beung than any other person alive in the world," he said.
Pisit, however, said that the function of the lake had changed a lot from previous days.
He said thousands of local fishermen now fish on the lake with various kinds of fishing equipment.
"I'm afraid that the crocodiles will become trapped in fishing nets and die," he said.
THE NATION (Bangkok, Thailand) 28 February 03 Rare farm-bred crocodiles to be released into the wild
The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry is to release 100 Siamese crocodiles into the wild out of concern that the species is facing extinction.
The ministry's permanent secretary, Plodprasop Suraswadi, yesterday revealed that government and private operators had bred a number of the freshwater crocodiles, also known as Crocodylus Siamensis, following reports that only a few of them remained in the wild.
Plodprasop said the first batch would be released into Kho Wat's no-hunting zone in Nakhon Sawan in an area considered to have good ecology, while a second batch would be released in Pang Sida National Park in Sa Kaew and the Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Ratchasima.