The 22 eggs of a wild Siamese crocodile, which is an endangered species, was discovered in the Cardamom Mountains of Pursat province.
It was discovered by conservationists from the Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Programme (CCCP) together with the Forestry Administration and Fauna & Flora International staff, as well as local community wardens.
In April this year, community wardens also discovered another nest at a different location in the Cardamom Mountains, however no eggs were found.
Pablo Sinovas, Flagship Species Manager for FFI in Cambodia said Veal Veng district, in Pursat province, holds the largest-known Siamese crocodile population as it provides a good nesting habitat. Protection of the wetland ecosystem is therefore of vital importance for the conservation of this critically endangered reptile, he noted.
Generally, Siamese crocodiles build a mound nest out of nearby vegetation before laying their eggs in it, which takes about 10 weeks to hatch.
The newly discovered mound nest at Veal Veng will be closely guarded by the community wardens to protect it from predators and poachers, giving the eggs a maximum chance of survival, according to the report from Fauna & Flora International.
The CCCP, which FFI established in partnership with the government, is helping to monitor and protect the wild population of Siamese crocodiles at a number of sites in the Cardamom Mountains.
In cooperation with the Cambodian Forestry Administration, FFI is also breeding crocodiles in captivity to reinforce wild populations of this iconic Cambodian reptile, which remains precariously close to extinction despite the recovery the programme has helped stimulate.