During the first five months of this year, 2,498 eggs of Cantor’s giant softshell turtles in 66 protected nests have been found by community fisheries (CFIs) along the Mekong River, in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces, according to USAID Greening Prey Lang.
In 2020, it continued, there were only 49 protected nests of 1,756 eggs.
USAID Greening Prey Lang provides support for CFis to conduct patrols to protect Cantor’s giant softshell turtles, pointed out the same source, underlining that the objective of the patrols is to stop illegal fishing activities within the CFis and remove illegal fishing gear from the river.
Patrol teams also monitor to ensure there is no illegal collection of turtles or their eggs and that no illegal fishing activities occur in areas where the turtles breed during the annual nesting season, it added.
Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) is listed on the IUCN Red List as globally Endangered. It was thought extinct in the Cambodian portion of the Mekong River until its re-discovery in 2007 in a 48-kilometre stretch of the river in Kratie and Stung Treng provinces.
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press