Sre Ambel, Koh Kong (28 June 2017) - Conservationists from the Fisheries Administration (FiA), WCS(Wildlife Conservation Society) and local communities have discovered a nest with 19 eggs of the Critically Endangered Siamese crocodile in the Sre Ambel District of Koh Kong Province in Cambodia. This is the first Siamese crocodile nest recorded in six years of research and protection in the Sre Ambel River System.
The eggs were found during a search for signs of wild crocodiles in the area.
The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) is listed on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered. Its global population, which includes around 410 adults, is declining at an alarming rate. This species lives only in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. Between 100 and 300 wild adult Siamese crocodiles live in Cambodia, making it the most important country for the conservation of this species.
Siamese crocodiles face many threats to their survival. In Cambodia, these include illegal hunting of adults and hatchlings, and collecting of eggs to supply crocodile farms in Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand. Other threats to the species include habitat degradation, a decrease in food supply, low chance of breeding in the wild (due to low number of wild individuals), and weak regulations and law enforcement on crocodile farming and trading.
Programs to patrol wetlands in the area and to create awareness among the public about Siamese crocodiles are credited with contributing to presence of this nest.
“I am delighted to see this Siamese crocodile nest because previously we found only tracks and dung,” said In Hul, FiA officer. “This is the first Siamese crocodile nest found on the Sre Ambel in six years. To avoid any threats, we moved the eggs to a safe place to hatch and track their progress.”
The Sre Ambel River is famous because it is the only place in Cambodia where the Royal Turtle can be found. The Royal Turtle was believed extinct in Cambodia until 2000 when a small population was re-discovered by FiA and WCS in the Sre Ambel River System. Earlier this year, the conservation group also found a nest of globally Endangered Asian giant softshell turtles in this river system.
“This finding underlines the global importance of the Sre Ambel River system for reptile conservation, as it is home to the Critically Endangered Siamese crocodile and Royal turtle, the national reptile of Cambodia, as well as the endangered Asian giant softshell turtle,” said Sitha Som, WCS’s Technical Advisor for the Sre Ambel Conservation Project. “Protection of the Sre Ambel River system is needed to ensure the survival of these important reptile species.”
WCS works to save turtles and tortoises around the world. In 2012, WCS launched an organization-wide program to revive some of the most endangered turtle and tortoise species. Efforts include breeding programs at WCS’s zoos in New York, head start programs abroad, and working with governments and communities to save species on the brink of extinction.
About the Wildlife Conservation Society. WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. To achieve our mission, WCS, based at the Bronx Zoo, harnesses the power of its Global Conservation Program in nearly 60 nations and in all the world’s oceans and its five wildlife parks in New York City, visited by 4 million people annually. WCS combines its expertise in the field, zoos, and aquarium to achieve its conservation mission. Visit: newsroom.wcs.org Follow: @WCSNewsroom. For more information: 347-840-1242.