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One of our captive-bred Siamese crocodiles receives a blessing. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora

One of our captive-bred Siamese crocodiles receives a blessing. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora

Conserving Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia

Project lead: Pablo Sinovas

Fauna & Flora is working with the Cambodian government and local communities to safeguard the remaining wild populations of Siamese crocodiles and their habitat by creating crocodile sanctuaries protected by community wardens.

Our work with Siamese crocodiles

Following decades of hunting and habitat loss, the Siamese crocodile is one of the rarest crocodiles in the world. Populations of mature individuals have plummeted to fewer than 250 in the wild, mostly found in Cambodia. A Fauna & Flora-led survey team rediscovered the species in early 2000 and we immediately launched a plan to safeguard the remaining population.

Fauna & Flora and our partners established the first conservation breeding programme in the country to strengthen wild populations. Siamese crocodiles are bred in captivity and the resulting offspring are released into the wild in remote sites protected by local communities.

Project goals

In the short term, we are looking to increase the size of the wild crocodile population in Cambodia by at least 150 individuals by 2025. This will be achieved mainly in the Cardamom Mountains landscape, where we believe the species has the best prospects of lasting protection and recovery, but additional areas are being explored.

In the long term, we aim to establish a viable wild population of at least 10,000 crocodiles across multiple securely protected areas in Cambodia. To do this, we need to survey and select additional sites, engage local communities and the government to protect those sites and reintroduce and/or reinforce crocodile populations at the new sites.

Our impact

Since 2012, Fauna & Flora has released almost two hundred captive-bred Siamese crocodiles into the wild. Crocodile populations protected under the project are stable or increasing, reversing the trend for most threatened wildlife in Cambodia.

Project timeline

    EDNA collection in Cambodia © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora

    EDNA collection in Cambodia © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora


    Satellite telemetry, acoustic monitoring and eDNA used for first time to track and monitor Siamese crocodile populations.


    Crocodile community wardens win IUCN WCPA International Ranger Award.

    Siamese crocodile. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora

    Siamese crocodile. © Jeremy Holden / Fauna & Flora


    Released female crocodile found nesting in the wild, as well as ten juvenile Siamese crocodiles.


    Cambodian Crocodile Conservation Project launches programme to release pure-bred individuals back into the wild in suitable sites in the Cardamom Mountains, under action plan for Siamese crocodile.

    © Jeremy Holden/Fauna & Flora


    35 pure-bred Siamese crocodiles identified in local wildlife rescue centre.


    Fauna & Flora-led survey team rediscovers Siamese crocodile in Cambodia.

Watch: how the Siamese crocodile is coming back from near-extinction


This project is delivered in partnership with the Forestry Administration, Fisheries Administration, Ministry of Environment, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Chester Zoo.


We are grateful for financial support from the Lucille Foundation, Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Prince Bernhard Fund for Nature, and Czech Association for Breeding and Conservation of Crocodilians.

Saving threatened species

Fauna & Flora and partners have succeeded in bringing Siamese crocodiles back from the brink of extinction. With your support, we can secure their future.

Help us to save nature, together. 

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Pablo Sinovas profile picture

Pablo Sinovas

Country Director, Cambodia

Pablo leads Fauna & Flora’s team and portfolio of work in Cambodia, from Siamese crocodile and sea turtle conservation to terrestrial and marine protected area management. He previously worked on wildlife trade with UNEP-WCMC. He holds an MSc in Conservation and is a National Geographic Explorer.