WCS Cambodia

Mangrove Terrapin

Since 2001, the Fisheries Administration (FiA) and WCS have worked with communities in the Sre Ambel area to conserve the Mangrove Terrapin (Batagur affinis, also known as Batagurs). These interventions have been guided by a two-pronged strategy that has focused both on protecting in-situ populations in the Sre Ambel river system, as well as raising a captive population in the project's hatchling centre.

The main threat to Mangrove Terrapins is posed by increasing levels of human activity and disturbance on the rivers that form the heart of their range. The Sre Ambel river system forms the focus of conservation activities for this species in Cambodia. The Sre Ambel is less affected by human activities than many river systems in the region, although most riparian habitats on the river have been severely degraded.

Given the uncertain status of the wild population of Mangrove Terrapins, it is vitally important to devise a coherent strategy for their survival. This must include effective protection for wild populations, as well as a release plan for the hatchlings currently held at the hatchling centre. These individuals represent some of the last remaining individuals of their species. The combination of in-situ and ex-situ conservation activities that are currently implemented by the FiA/WCS Mangrove Terrapin project provide a vital last chance to save this species in the wild in Indochina.