ASAP Species Conservation Grants

Organisation: Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB)

Project title: Pilot reintroduction of Elongated Tortoise, Indotestudo elongata, in Cambodia

Location: Siem Pang Wildlife Sanctuary, Banteay Srei, Cambodia

Project date: April 2021 – September 2023 (ongoing)

Species: Elongated Tortoise Indotestudo elongata

The challenge

Elongated Tortoises occur throughout South and Southeast Asia but are now highly threatened due to range-wide population decline as a result of habitat loss and overharvesting. Species recovery depends on a combination of effective protection of remaining wild populations, and reintroduction of captive-bred tortoises to restore depressed or extirpated population.  

In Cambodia, Elongated Tortoise populations are threatened by a combination of habitat loss, subsistence hunting, and harvesting for commercial trade. Overexploited tortoise populations are slow to recover owing to a suite of unique life history characteristics, e.g., low reproductive output, and the translocation of captive-bred tortoises to the wild is an important approach to restoring Elongated Tortoise populations.  

The project

The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) maintains an assurance colony of Elongated Tortoises founded from individuals obtained through wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts. The aim of the project is to repatriate captive-bred, head-started tortoises to a protected area. The project will assess and select suitable release sites, prepare the tortoises for release through disease screening and pre-release acclimation, and monitor the tortoises for dispersal and survival following the release.  

The ASAP grant helps us to assess the feasibility of augmentation translocation of captive-bred and head-started Elongated Tortoise into a secure protected area in Cambodia to ultimately return ecologically meaningful numbers of tortoises to the wild to create a viable and stable population.”

Christel Griffioen, Country Director, ACCB 

Project reports

Project reports will be added here

Photo credit: ACCB/Pau Puigcerver

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