"Twenty-five Critically Endangered Royal Turtles (Batagur affinis) Return to the Wild in Cambodia! "The Royal Government of Cambodia’s Fisheries Administration (FiA), WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), and the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) announce the release of 25 Royal Turtles into their natural habitat in the Sre Ambel river system—the only place in Cambodia where this species is found.
Listed on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Critically Endangered, the Southern River Terrapin, locally known as the Royal Turtle is one of the world’s 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. The species lives only in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, and its global wild population numbers less than 500 mature individuals. It was designated Cambodia’s National Reptile by Royal Decree in 2005. After undergoing health examinations by veterinarians from the WCS Bronx Zoo Zoological Health Program, all 25 sub-adult turtles were fitted with acoustic transmitters that will allow researchers to monitor their survival and seasonal movements, and to better understand their habitat use within the wider river system.
This work was supported by the Alan and Patricia Koval Foundation, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, National Geographic Society, Chicago Zoological Society, SOS - Save Our Species, and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. SOS – Save Our Species is a joint initiative of IUCN, the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank. Its objective is to ensure the long-term survival of threatened species and their habitats." - Wildlife Conservation Society
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