World Croc Day Date in the current year: June 17, 2022

World Croc Day World Croc Day is observed annually on June 17. No, the holiday isn’t about foam clogs; it is an environmental observance dedicated to crocodiles that aims to raise awareness of these amazing reptiles and highlight the dangers they face.

The term “crocodile” can have two meanings. Strictly speaking, it applies to reptiles that belong to the family Crocodylidae. There are 18 extant species of crocodiles that live in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.

All true crocodiles are semi-aquatic, i. e. they spend a significant part of their life cycle in water. They typically prefer freshwater habitats such as wetlands, lakes and rivers but can live in brackish water and saltwater too. They are predators that feed mostly on fish, reptiles, birds and mammals, and sometimes on crustaceans and mollusks.

Large crocodiles can attack people. The Nile crocodile and saltwater crocodile attacks are often predatory, while smaller crocodile species usually attack people when disturbed to defend themselves or protect their nests and young.

As for the second meaning, a lot of people use the term “crocodile” loosely to include all members of the order Crocodilia: true crocodiles (Crocodylidae), alligators and caimans (Alligatoridae), and gharials and false gharials (Gavialidae). World Croc Day aims to raise awareness of the plight of all crocodilian species and not just true crocodiles.

Four crocodilian species are classified as vulnerable and seven are critically endangered. The main threats that affect crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gharials are the degradation, destruction or loss of habitat, fishing (sometimes crocodiles get entangled in fishing nets, which results in drowning, or are killed by fishermen out of fear), illegal killing, and invasive species.

Crocodiles aren’t hunted for their skin as extensively as they used to be (most crocodile skins these days come from registered farms that contribute to crocodile conservation), but in some regions, local crocodile populations are still recovering from the uncontrolled hunting of the 1900s.

World Croc Day was inaugurated in 2017 by the Crocodile Research Coalition, a Belize-based nonprofit that focuses on preserving crocodiles and their habitats in Central America and the Caribbean, in conjunction with the Belize Zoo.

The Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Center hosts the largest World Croc Day event that includes crocodile exhibits, open lectures and talks, educational seminars, and fun activities like arts & crafts, photo ops and face painting. Zoos and conservation organizations around the world participate in the celebration too, hosting events of their own.

How can you observe World Croc Day? You can check out whether your local zoo has a crocodile exhibit, donate to a conservation organization that helps crocodiles, read a book or watch a documentary about crocodiles to learn more about the dangers they face. And don’t forget to spread awareness about the holiday by posting on social media with the hashtag #WorldCrocDay.

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Category

International Observances, Ecological Observances

Tags

World Croc Day, World Crocodile Day, environmental observances, international observances, crocodilian species