Wildlife group finds endangered turtle nests


THE Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS Cambodia) Nest Protection Team, in collaboration with the Fisheries Administration, have found five nests of the critically endangered Cantor’s giant softshell turtle (also known as a frog-headed turtle) during the 2020 breeding season on a beach along the Mekong River in Kratie province’s Sambor district.

WCS Cambodia’s Mekong regional coordinator Nhuon Chanty said the first nest they discovered had 32 eggs, but within a week the team had found four more nests.

“If we total the number of eggs in the five nests we found, there were more than 150 eggs.

“We will collect them and put them in a safe place to hatch, ” he said.

The frog-headed turtle breeding season runs from November to May.

The nest protection programme for the species is funded by the European Union under the Wildlife Crime Partnership.

Chanty said his team was happy to have found the nests and eggs so early in the season because most years, the total number of nests they find between November and May is very low.

Som Sitha, the Koh Kong and Mekong River Conservation Project Manager for WCS Cambodia, said his organisation would continue to cooperate with local communities by hiring people from the area to act as protectors of the turtles and to help educate other people in the community about the conservation of frog-headed turtles. — The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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