Slender-snouted crocodile skin is used to make clothing and accessories and the meat provides a means of sustenance in many areas.
Slender-snouted crocodiles provide two major economic benefits, skin and meat.
Slender-snouted crocodile skin is very valuable due to its durability and coloring and is often used to make various clothing items and accessories. Protective scales cover the slender-snouted crocodile’s skin, some of which are reinforced by bony plates to provide extra support. The snout lacks bony ridges, however. The large size and heavy scales of adults likely protects them from predation by other species, with the exception of humans, who hunt slender-snouted crocodiles for their skin and meat.
There was extensive, post WWII skin trading that was happening throughout West and Central Africa and did not slow down until the mid-1980s. The majority of this trade was in Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) products, but in certain parts of this range, such as Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, and the Congos, the slender-snouted crocodile was actually the primary traded species or heavily incidentally impacted. It is suspected that the slowdown of this trade in the 1980s was largely due to the significant reduction in crocodile populations, such as reduced efficiency and hunting output, and only partially due to international, CITES, and national legislative policies.
The meat of slender-snouted crocodiles also provides a means of sustenance in many areas. Long-running bushmeat studies in Gabon, Congo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo continually find adult Slender-snouted Crocodiles for sale in markets. In contrast, this species has not been detected in the bushmeat trade in West Africa for some time indicating it is not reliably available as a target species.
• Image | ©️ Analise Zocher, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY 2.0)
• Sources | (Abercrombie, 1976; Grigg & Gans, 1993; Kelly, 2006; Lavinder & Pennington 2012; Pauwels, et al., 2003; Radley & Sherlock, 2001; Shirley, 2014; Waitkuwait, 1989)