Wildlife researchers in Cambodia say they've found a clutch of eggs from one of the world's most endangered crocodiles, raising hopes of its continuing survival in the wild.
The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said Wednesday that its researchers, along with Fisheries Administration employees and local residents, had found six eggs of the Siamese Crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) in the southern province of Koh Kong as they were exploring for tracks, signs and dung of the reptile.
The group says the crocodile, with an estimated global population of around 410, is found only in Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, with the greatest number in Cambodia.
It said the finders moved the crocodile eggs to a safe place where they can also be monitored.
The Siamese Crocodile is a critically endangered species, with poachers being a huge threat to the crocodiles' survival, as well as climate change.
They are found in lowland freshwater habitats, including slow-moving rivers and streams, lakes, seasonal oxbow lakes, marshes and swamps.
According to the The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Commercial, hunting for the skin trade is the main cause for the decline of the species. Global populations have been severely reduced by over 80% in the past 75 years.