Rare turtle discovery in Cambodia


tPF Bish
Jul 7, 2006
Rare turtle discovery in Cambodia

AFP - Thursday, May 17 07:59 am
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - One of the world's rarest freshwater turtles was discovered on an isolated stretch of the Mekong river in Cambodia, conservationists said Thursday, raising hopes that the species can be saved from extinction.

Scientists from Conservation International (CI) and the World Wildlife Fund, along with Cambodian officials, caught and released an 11-kilogram (24-pound) Cantor's giant soft-shell turtle during a survey in March, the groups said in a statement received by AFP Thursday.
They also found a nesting ground for the species and brought back eggs which have since hatched, the statement said.
"This incredible discovery means that a unique turtle can be saved from disappearing from our planet," said CI biologist David Emmett.
"We thought it might be gone, but found it in abundance," he added.
The turtle was found in an area closed off to scientists until the late 1990s because of Cambodia's lingering civil conflict.
Scientists describe it as a "near pristine" region that is home to a number of threatened animal species.
Cantor's turtle spends 95 percent of its life hidden in sand or mud and is currently listed as endangered, the same status given to tigers and panda bears.
One of the world's largest species capable of growing up to 50 kg (110 pounds), Cantor's turtle is under increasing threat from hunters and from the destruction of its habitat.
Local villagers are expected to be recruited to help protect the turtles' nesting beaches and guard against illegal fishing, conservationists said.



Window Shopper
Oct 18, 2006
New Mexico
Wow that is a scary looking turtle. It looks like the shell is part of his body. That is cool that they are trying to save them and it is sad that they are endangered.