Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - WWF-Cambodia announces new ‘accurate’ survey of reptiles




WWF-Cambodia announces new ‘accurate’ survey of reptiles

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Two experts from Fauna and Flora International instruct a 12-member research team in the first stage of research training last week. WWF

WWF-Cambodia announces new ‘accurate’ survey of reptiles

To help conserve the critically endangered Siamese crocodile, WWF-Cambodia has announced it will conduct a survey this year to accurately record the number of the reptiles left in the wild in the Kingdom’s Eastern Plains Landscape.

The Siamese crocodile was once widespread throughout much of mainland Southeast Asia in a range of wetland habitats, including slow-moving rivers, lakes, marshes and swamps. It has now disappeared from 99 per cent of its former range, according to Fauna and Flora International (FFI).

FFI said Siamese crocodiles were today only found in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Indonesia.

WWF-Cambodia said it held six days of research training last week so the information found while conducting the survey could be recorded as accurately as possible. Two experts from FFI instructed a 12-member research team in the first stage of training.

The trainees spent five days in the field covering the Eastern Plains Landscape, which covers Mondulkiri, Kratie, Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng provinces.

The session covered a range of research methods, such as noting the crocodiles’ dung and tracks, training in spotting the crocodile at night and finding the different habitat types preferred by the reptiles.

WWF-Cambodia said the team had discovered several encouraging signs of the crocodile during the in-the-field training, which indicates that there could still be a remaining population of the incredibly rare animal present in the Eastern Plains.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A Siamese crocodile (supplied)

The Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) was classified as endangered in 1994 and was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list as being critically endangered in 1996.

Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said the ministry supported the survey to report the presence of Siamese crocodiles.

He said the highest number of Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia was found in the protected areas of the Cardamom Mountains, especially in the Areng Valley and Tatai and Atai rivers.

Pheaktra said the Siamese crocodile has been found in Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary in Mondulkiri province, Ratanakkiri province’s Virak Chey National Park and in Preah Vihear province.

“We have concluded that there are currently between 400 and 450 Siamese crocodiles, 300 of which are capable of reproducing."

“To conserve and protect the Siamese crocodile, we need to work together to maintain their habitat and must not do anything that affects it because it is an extremely rare species,” he stressed.

MOST VIEWED

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped