Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Royal turtle eggs found in Koh Kong

Royal turtle eggs found in Koh Kong

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Three royal turtle nests containing 51 eggs have been found in Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district. WCS

Royal turtle eggs found in Koh Kong

Three royal turtle nests containing 51 eggs have been found in Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district.

The discovery was made by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), fisheries administration officials, and conservationists from the local community.

The eggs were found when fishermen in the area saw turtle footprints and reported their findings to fisheries administration officials and the WCS.

The eggs are now in the care of experts, said WCS country director Ken Serey Rotha. Once the turtles are able to feed themselves, they will be released near the Sre Ambel creek, he said.

He noted that the number of turtle nests in the area has increased notably following a ban on sand dredging operations in Sre Ambel.

In July 2017, the Ministry of Mines and Energy issued a circular prohibiting sand dredging in the Sre Ambel creek system.

Likewise, a sub-decree by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries designated Sre Ambel creek system as a conservation area for royal turtles and Siamese crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis).

“Now that sand dredging has been banned in this area, turtles are reproducing,” said Serey Rotha.

“I don’t oppose development, but it is important to balance it with conservation,” he said.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Three royal turtle nests containing 51 eggs have been found in Koh Kong province’s Sre Ambel district. WCS

Fisheries Conservation Department deputy director In Hul said his team has been working with WCS since 2000. He said they find one or two turtle nests per year on average.

The discovery this week indicates that the number of turtles in the creek is increasing, he added. “Experts are paying attention to the conservation of our natural resources.

“In the past, it was hard to find any nests because sand dredging operations affected the fertility of the turtles,” Hul said.

Royal turtles, whose scientific name is Batagur affinis, were once thought to be extinct, but in 2000, the Koh Kong Fisheries Administration and WCS found specimens along the Sre Ambel creek.

In 2001, the Fisheries Administration and WCS organised a nest protection programme. To find and protect the nests, they recruited former royal turtle egg collectors.

The royal turtle was named Cambodia’s national reptile in 2005. The animal is native to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Their global population is now less than 500.

It is illegal to collect, sell or cook royal turtle eggs in Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Third Makro outlet planned for capital’s Chroy Changvar

    Makro (Cambodia) Co Ltd is set to invest $12.7 million in its third Cambodian outlet, this time in northeast Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, an area dotted with high-end residential developments, as shopping behaviours continue to evolve in tandem with economic growth. The Cambodian Investment