Native species to the Central Cardamom Mountains include
Indotestudo elongata
Cyclemys atripons
Amyda cartilaginea
Heosemys grandis
Manouria impressa
Siebenrockiella crassicollis
Cuora amboinensis

Malayemys subtrijuga
Pelochelys cantorii
Hieremys annandalii

Juvenile elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elogata), found in an area of high pine forest.

What's New

Research is currently being conducted in a large wetland in the Central Cardamom Mountains.
Preliminary research has tentatively suggested the presence of the leaf turtle, Cyclemys dentata complex, and the Asiatic softshell turtle, Amyda cartilaginea in the marsh. Based on previous research by the turtle team in similar habitats in the Cardamom Mountains, the marsh could also hold several additional species such as the black marsh turtle, Siebenrockiella crassicollis, and the Asian giant pond turtle, Heosemys grandis

Two students, Sitha and Koulang, holding up a set of turtle hooks removed from the Areng River in the survey area.

A ten-day turtle survey in the Areng Valley by students from Phnom Penh National University (BP Conservation Award winners) and David Emmett of Conservation International turned up the first verified record for Manouria impressa in Cambodia, along with a first record for the Cardamom Mountains for Siebenrockiella crassicollis.

The addition an assortment of Cyclemys, Indotestudo elongata, and Heosemys grandis also surfaced during the field survey, which involved trapping in the Areng River and timed transect surveys in evergreen forest and marshland.

Juvenile Amyda cartilaginea found at a house in Tatai Leu village in the Cardamom Protected Forest.


The project aims to develop ongoing tortoise and freshwater turtle research and conservation activities in and around the Central Cardamoms Protected Forest (CCPF), Cambodia, to help reduce threats to wild populations.

Cambodia?s turtles are threatened by hunting and trade. The Cardamom Mountains comprises one of the last remaining areas of wilderness in Cambodia. Isolated by remote mountain terrain, the CCPF contains at least five globally threatened tortoise and freshwater turtle species.

Under the project, supported by a BP Conservation Award, Khmer students from the Royal University of Phnom Penh will assess the species composition, distribution and abundance, ecology, values of, and threats to turtles native to the CCPF. Technical support is being provided by Conservation International, presently managing a conservation program in cooperation with the Forestry Administration in the Central Cardamom Mountains.

This project is intended to guide regional conservation and management actions, and will provide baseline data for monitoring protected area management and community-based natural resource management activities.

The project involves four main activities:

(1) Training of six students in basic survey and identification techniques,

(2) Interview-based surveys in local communities to gain information on the presence, status, and perceived threats to native species,

(3) Carry out field-surveys of tortoises and turtles across a range of habitats;

(4) Develop culture-sensitive public awareness and education activities, targeting local communities, and people.


Contact Details
Mr Sitha Som:

Main Focus:
Involve students in research and conservation focused on tortoise and freshwater turtles in the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia

Location: Central Cardamoms Protected Forest (CCPF)

Administered by: The Royal University of Phnom Pehn with technical support provided by Conservation International

Established: 2004

Project supported by:

BP Conservation Award


Sitha, one of six students from the Royal University of Phnom Pehn, working on a project, supported by a BP Conservation Award. Seen here working with Cyclemys atripons (leaf turtle).

Three shells that were found in the house of a Vietnamese man in village of Thma Bang. The shells are of Cyclemys, Heosemys grandis and Indotestustudo elongata.

Cyclemys (probably atripons) that students captured in a baited trap, and are



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