WCS Cambodia

Mangrove Terrapin Hatchling Centre

When project staff locate Mangrove Terrapin nesting sites, they guard the eggs during incubation, and then relocate the hatchlings to the project head-starting centre as soon as they hatch. The Sre Ambel river system has been significantly modified by human activity, and so the hatchlings would stand little chance of survival if they entered the river immediately. They are reared at the hatchling centre until they are large enough to be released into the wild.

There are currently 115 animals being held at the facility, 46 hatchlings from 2006, 46 hatchlings from 2007, and 23 hatchlings from 2009. The centre is staffed by a dedicated team that ensure that fresh food is provided for the hatchlings on a daily basis, while the centre is enclosed in a metal fence to prevent theft. The animals eat primarily morning glory, with the addition of mangrove fruits from the Sre Ambel river system during the fruiting season. All the hatchlings have been micro-chipped. WCS veterinarians provide nutritional and husbandry recommendations on the care of Batagurs.

The project team has recently improved facilities at the hatchling centre, with support from Turtle Conservation Fund. The water supply to the centre was improved, with the installation of a new well, a solar pump and a larger water tank ensuring that a reliable supply of fresh water could be pumped through the concrete holding tanks that house the Batagurs.