MCBT was originally designed to be a living genetic repository of crocodiles for safekeeping, to protect and multiply until such time when they could be returned to restock their original wild habitats. This action was initially met with tremendous success, but today, release into the wild has stopped due to shrinking wilderness areas and the lack of suitable habitat. Today Croc Bank is home to 17 species of crocodilians, three of which are listed by the IUCN as critically endangered with a further three listed as threatened. As the need for the conservation of reptiles grew, the Croc Bank increased its repertoire to include turtles, lizards and snakes and it came to be known as the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Center for Herpetology in 2003. The Croc Bank now successfully breeds several species of threatened chelonians, including two listed as critically endangered.