Thirteen critically endangered Siamese crocodiles have been born in a remote valley in Cambodia. Conservationists are trying to bring the species back from the brink of extinction. The task has been made more difficult owing to the building of an Hydro-electric dam in the Areng River Valley.
Conservationists are trying to protect thirteen endangered baby Siamese crocodiles in Cambodia.
They will care for the crocodiles for about a year then release them into the wild.
Conservation group Fauna and Flora International, or FFI, says uncontrolled hunting and habitat loss has reduced the number of Siamese crocodiles to less than 250 in the wild.
Cambodia will flood most of the Areng River Valley, a critical breeding habitat for the crocodile, in order to build a hydroelectric dam.
FFI and the Cambodian government are working to develop a long-term survival strategy for the crocodiles.
[Adam Star, Fauna and Flora International]: (English) ((Cut last sentence))
"They are an important species and Cambodia has what is believed to be the largest population left in the world. And the amount of care that has been given to this shows that the government is interested. I'm hoping though that we can make the right decisions in the future, that we can be able to move these crocodiles safely and others like them to safe areas where they will not be harmed by hydro dams."
It's a concern shared by others who work closely with the animals.
[Lon Deth, Conservationist]: (Khmer male) ((Cut last sentence))
"I'm worried that when they build the hydro dam, the water level in this area will not be stable."
The FFI works to train locals to protect crocodiles from poachers and improve management of natural resources, for the benefit of future generations.
Siamese crocodiles are among the smaller species of freshwater crocodile, with males averaging almost 10 feet in length.