CM – Eight rare Siamese crocodiles found in Cambodia


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021

In this image released by the Cambodian Ministry of the Environment and WWF, a Siamese crocodile swims in the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary of Cambodia’s Eastern Plains, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia on September 13, 2021. – Cambodian Ministry of the Environment and WWF via AP

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua): A research team from the Cambodian Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has discovered eight cubs of the critically endangered Siamese crocodile in northeastern Mondulkiri province for the first time in over a decade, one joint statement said Tuesday (Sept. 21).

The discovery earlier this month was made at one of the search sites where Siamese crocodile formation and footprints were collected during this year’s dry season, the statement said, adding, that the reptile juveniles remain safe in their wild habitat under the strict protection of the rangers of the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary and for the restoration of major wildlife around the world.

« This exciting news It also shows the importance of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the conservation of this extremely rare crocodile and other important species, ”he said.

 » Cambodia is home to unique natural resources that are a true source of national pride for all Cambodians. « 

He said the Ministry of the Environment is ready to work with all international non-governmental organizations, community groups and other partners to protect and preserve Cambodia’s natural forests and wildlife for the long-term social and economic benefit of current and future generations.

The discovery is the first photographic evidence of a breeding population of Siamese crocodiles after more than a decade of research in the Srepok Wildlife Sanctuary, a sanctuary in the Eastern Plains Landscape.

“During this breeding season, the research team conducts regular field observations, and for them special trip have w e spent four nights exploring the crocodiles’ habitat, from 7pm until after midnight around 2am, observing the animal, « said Sothea Bun, one of the research team members.

 » Then came the exciting moment when one of our employees first saw the glimmer of the eyes of crocodile cubs, « he said.

Milou Groenenberg, WWF manager for biodiversity research and monitoring, said the discovery is considered a breakthrough in research on the species in Srepok , since earlier breeding reports consisted of unconfirmed reports from many years ago and photographic evidence of young animals had never been collected before.

« We have not yet been sure whether there are still breeding pairs in the resident population to this day, whether there are nests and whether clutches have successfully hatched, « she says.

 » The discovery of Srepok does indeed raise hope for the protection and survival of Siamese crocodiles in the wild and is a major discovery for the species in Cambodia and worldwide. « 

Listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Siamese freshwater crocodile was once widespread in Southeast Asia, but disappeared however, from much of its range in the early 1990s.

Cambodia is a global stronghold for the species, with an estimate of 200-400 individuals remaining in the wild.

The main threats to Siamese crocodiles , include habitat loss and destruction, poaching fueled by the illegal wildlife trade and earlier to supply crocodile farms, hybridization with other crocodile species and destructive illegal trapping methods, the statement said.

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