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Two lizard species discovered in Siem Reap’s Phnom Kulen Park

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Calotes and Bent-toed were found in Kulen protected area in Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district. Banteay Srey district Administration

Two lizard species discovered in Siem Reap’s Phnom Kulen Park

Two unknown species of lizard were discovered in Kbal Spean, an Angkorian era archaeological site within the Phnom Kulen National Park, in Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district. They have been named calotes goetzi and the bent-toed gecko.

The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) said in a recent Facebook post that ACCB was assisted in field studies leading to the discovery of a new type of agamid lizard the calotes goetzi. This species is distributed over a large area including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.

Calotes goetzi is named after Dr Goetz, one of ACCB’s largest supporters. The ACCB team helped with the research that led to the discovery of the new species, according to the organisation’s official Facebook page.

The other discovery was a bent-toed gecko. This species of lizard lives in small areas such as isolated mountainous areas in Asia and Australia, according to ACCB. This gecko or Cyrtodactylus kulenensis is also nicknamed “Bent-toed Kulen mountain”, where the word Kulenensis represents Kulen mountain.

“Not only do we focus on ex-situ conservation, but we are also involved in in-situ conservation,” ACCB said.

In a Facebook post on May 20, Banteay Srei district governor Khim Finan said the two new species were found in trees and sandstone slabs in the park. They were first seen by researchers from ACCB based in the district.

Finan appealed to the public, especially tourists, to visit Banteay Srei and Kbal Spean to see these two rare and beautiful animals.

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