WCS Cambodia

Initiatives for Mangrove Terrapin Conservation

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.

There are also significant concentrations of local communities, especially in association with the western branch of the river, although these are low human densities in comparison to those of the Mekong river systems.

There has been substantial commercial sand pumping in the vicinity of the nesting beaches. Although these activities did not lead to the destruction of nesting beaches, there were no nests discovered by the project teams in 2008, when sand dredging was at its height. Following intervention by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Prime Minister officially banned all sand mining in the river from March 2008.

Even with the suspension of the commercial pumping of sand, the level of human disturbance in the Sre Ambel river system poses a significant threat to the future of the terrapin populations in the river.