The Khmer common name is “Andoeurk Sarsai or Andoeurk Lung”. The scientific name is “Batagur baska” and English common name is “Royal Turtle“. Royal Turtle has white eyes and hocked nose. The carapace has up to 60 cm long with gray or black color. The front digits are large and covered with webbed skin similar to duck feet. It has 4 digits in contrast to other species that have five digits. International trade of Royal Turtle is prohibited as it is included in appendix I of the CITES convention. Royal Turtle is classified as globally threatened species in the IUCN Red List. For year ago, the species has been protected by the royal decree and has been regarded as royal property in Cambodia. The turtle eggs were collected from January to March solely for offering to royalty to eat. For this reason people gave it name “Royal Turtle” which resists today. Later, whenever people captured this species then always decorated it and invited monks to pray for peace before releasing it. Royal Turtle prefers marine estuaries of small streams with mangrove forest or other aquatic plants along the sea beach. Royal Turtle feeds on a wide range of foods including plant leaves, sprouting plants, mangrove fruit and insects. In the 1980and 1990s, this species was thought to be extinct in Cambodia. Then in 1995 this species was found in Sre Ambil district, Koh Kong province and in 2002, the Department of Fisheries in collaboration with WCS hatched 32 turtles and released them into nature. This is a nearly extinct species which international conservation agencies and non-governmental organizations are concerned about, and they are financial support to protect and conserve it. On the other hand, together with beautiful mangrove forest habitat it has the potential to attract tourism.
Appendix 3 of the Royal Decree No. NS/RKT/0305/149 dated March 21, 2005 on the Designation of Animals and Plants as National Symbols of the Kingdom of Cambodia.