The species was thought to have disappeared in 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 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.
^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