Chinese crocodile lizard


General Information

Chinese crocodile lizards are semi-aquatic reptiles that spend their time alone in slow-moving streams and freshwater pools. They are native to select provinces southern China and northern Vietnam. The lizard’s primary source of food is invertebrates, like insects, snails, and tadpoles.

A 2008 study estimated that 950 crocodile lizards were left in China, while another study estimated that fewer than 150 adults were left in Vietnam. Habitat loss is a major threat to the species. The population decline of the Chinese crocodile lizard can be explained by a combination of poaching, water flow changes, mining, electrofishing, and the poisoning of fish supply due to agricultural waste. Since 1990; there are low levels of legal exports for the pet trade, but it is believed that illegal collection occurs at a higher level. In 2014, it was listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List based on severe population declines and ongoing threats.


Latin name - Shinisaurus crocodilurus
Class - Reptilia
Family - Shinisauridae
IUCN Status - Endangered
Habitat – Clear streams within subtropical broadleaf evergreen forests.
Distribution – South-eastern China and Vietnam.


Fun Fact

The Chinese crocodile lizard is in fact, not a crocodile. They get their name from their powerful tails, which is scaly like that of a crocodile!

BPCZ Lowerres 09094

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