A Siamese crocodile that was released into the wild in 2018 has been recorded nesting in Cambodiaâ€™s Cardamom Mountains. The female crocodile was identified by her tail scute markings as one that had previously been cared for at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre and this finding provides evidence that released Siamese crocodiles are not only surviving in the wild, but are also able to nest.
Siamese crocodiles are critically endangered and were thought to be extinct in the wild until an expedition led by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) rediscovered the species in 2000. Since then, we have worked in partnership with the Cambodian government and communities living in the Cardamom Mountains to protect and conserve this charismatic species.
Community patrols are conducted to look for signs of crocodiles and potential threats, such as fishing nets, and a captive-breeding programme has been established to boost the speciesâ€™ numbers. Alongside these approaches, Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre accepts donations of Siamese crocodiles from private individuals and crocodile farms, where they are prized for their skins to create leather goods. Once the genetic identity of these donated individuals has been verified and they have undergone a thorough health check, the animals are ready to start a new life in the wild, or to be integrated into the breeding programme.