Southern river terrapin
|Southern river terrapin|
|(Batagur affinis) from a gazetted conservation site at Kuala Berang, Terengganu, Malaysia|
The species was thought to have disappeared from Cambodia until it was rediscovered in 2001. Conservationists eventually began tagging the animals with tracking devices and monitoring their nests, and King Norodom Sihamoni personally ordered their protection. Its eggs were a delicacy of the royal cuisine of Cambodia; In 2005, it was designated the national reptile of the Cambodia in an effort to bring awareness and conservation for this species. In July 2015, conservationists in Cambodia cautiously stated that efforts to bring back the species from the brink of extinction were having some success. A number of turtles, including breeding pairs, have been moved from enclosed areas into their intended home, the rivers and shores of Koh Kong where, it is hoped – with the ongoing monitoring and protection of locals and conservationists – they will begin to flourish.
In Malaysia, rivers of Kedah, Perak and Terengganu are major nesting grounds though the population continues to crash despite conservation efforts undertaken by Malaysian Wildlife Department for over 20 years. Pasir Temir and Pasir Lubuk Kawah by the Terengganu River are the largest nesting sites for Batagur baska in the world.
- IUCN (2016). "Batagur affinis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- Rhodin 2010, pp. 000.107
- Rhodin 2010, pp. 000.107-000,108
- Platt, S.G.; Bryan L. Stuart; Heng Sovannara; Long Kheng, Kalyar and Heng Kimchhay (2003) "Rediscovery of the critically endangered river terrapin, Batagur baska, in Cambodia, with notes on occurrence, reproduction, and conservation status" Chelonian Conservation and Biology 4(3): 691
- ROYAL DECREE on Designation of Animals and Plants as National Symbols of the Kingdom of Cambodia
- Laurenson, Jack. "'Royal Turtle' is Back from the Brink". Khmer Times | News Portal Cambodia |. Retrieved 2017-06-22.
- Rhodin, Anders G.J.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Inverson, John B.; Shaffer, H. Bradley (2010-12-14). "Turtles of the World 2010 Update: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution and Conservation Status" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 2010-12-15. Retrieved 2010-12-15.