WCS Cambodia

Protecting the Mangrove Terrapin

The discovery of 23 hatchlings on one of the nesting beaches in the Sre Ambel river in 2009 confirms that Mangrove Terrapins are still present in the river, and so it is essential to continue regular monitoring patrols to protect these animals.

Boat patrols are carried out on three days of each week on the Sre Ambel river and the Kaong river. The nearby Stung Prot river is also patrolled occasionally. The conservation team works closely with local fishermen on these patrols. The team engage the fishermen in informal conversations in order to ensure they were informed about the conservation project activities. These exchanges also allowed the team to monitor fishing activities in an unobtrusive way.

Over the lifetime of the project, staff have identified a number of nesting beaches which are used by Mangrove Terrapins. During the nesting season, these beaches are visited on a regular basis by patrol staff, and any signs of nesting activity are noted. Where a nest is discovered, the beach is fenced off and patrol staff mount a permanent guard at the site until the eggs hatch. The hatchlings are then removed and placed in the hatchling centre.