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January 06, 2010

A rapid field-based assessment of the the Sre Ambel river and surrounding areas was implemented in late 2008 by a collaborative team comprising members of Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Conservation International–Cambodia (CI), the Forestry Administration (FA) and the Ministry of Environment (MOE).

The survey, which lasted approximately four weeks, primarily focused on the numerous river valleys punctuating the coast and on a select group of focal species, and included two days of aerial overflight in a small aircraft, opportunistic observational small boat and foot based surveys, informal interviews with local communities, and limited live-trapping for turtles.

The survey team concluded that the Sre Ambel river system is still in reasonably good condition in comparison to other regional river systems, although most riparian habitats had been severely degraded. They also noted several human settlements, although human population densities were lower than those of the Mekong river systems. Although the Sre Ambel river system was still considered to be the most significant known river system for Mangrove Terrapins, the team concluded that it would be impossible to prevent major development of the river system in the long-term, and alternative rivers should be identified for the release of hatchlings in the future.

Posted in: Mangrove Terrapin