Graduate Student, Ph.D. program, Chulalongkorn University
Location: Langu Canal, Satun Province, Thailand
Research: Population Ecology and Conservation Status on River Terrapins (Batagur baska) in Satun Province, Thailand
Species/Topic: River Terrapin (Batagur baska)
Abstract: The river terrapin Batagur baska has been one of the most exploited coastal estuarine species in East Asia and Southeast Asia. Populations throughout the range have declined or been extirpated from their historical range due to habitat destruction and over harvesting of eggs and adult turtles for food consumption. The purpose of study is to establish population trends, compare the status of historic and current population parameters, and determine the ecological factors leading to the current limited numbers in, Thailand. The data from this study will be crucial for developing and implementing long-term regional and national conservation plans, locating sites for potential release of captive animals, determining habitat utilization and population parameters, and determining the current levels of exploitation of this threatened species. One of the main reasons for the lack of effective management is the absence of quantitative data and a poor understanding of the key ecological process causing changes in the system can be filled. The morphological variability of Batagur baska in three different countries will be studied. Moreover, the field team will also include Thai researchers thus allowing them to gain necessary skills and strengthen conservation networks in the country.