Community-Driven Conservation of Cambodian Chelonians

Sitha Som

Every month, government rangers in Cambodia confiscate turtles that are being exported to neighboring countries. One of the greatest threats to endangered turtles and tortoises in Cambodia is hunting – rural people are poor and uneducated, pushing them to hunt for their livelihood, and park rangers lack the skills to identify endangered turtles and tortoises and often release confiscated chelonians into unsuitable habitats. The aim of this project is to conserve endangered chelonians by working with communities in priority sites and by providing education and training for rangers and Cambodian researchers. In order to achieve this goal, we will conduct environmental awareness activities in priority sites; commence a community ranger program; monitor Impressed Tortoises in situ; produce a field guide and release protocol for park rangers and create a national chelonian red list.

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