Threatened species of Emydidae

Experimental visualization of narrower problems
Other Names:
Threatened species of Emydid turtles
Threatened populations of pond and river turtles
Threatened freshwater turtles

There is no natural history information or exact range statistics for several newly described species: Cuora mccordi (first described and named in 1988), Cuora serrata (= Cuora galbinifrons serrata (1992), Cuora zhoui (1990), Geoemyda yuwonoi (1995), Mauremys iversoni (named in 1991), Ocadia glyphistoma (1994), Ocadia philipenni (1992), Platysternon megacephalum shiui (1987), Sacalia psuedocellata (1992) and another yet to be described Cuora sp. Most of these species are known from a few, or only one, specimen found in a food market.

Callagur borneensis, Batagur baska, Kachuga trivattata and the larger riverine softshell species are captured by a technique that targets nesting females. Lines of hemp or nylon are suspended several inches above the riverbanks between poles stuck in the sand so the line runs parallel to the water line. From this line dangle fish hooks which snag the turtles as they cross under the wire to nest and imprisons them while they await collection by the turtle hunters. This technique effectively removes the breeding females from the populations. Eggs are harvested from the few nests that are managed by females eluding the hooks. More recent perils to these species include "sand mining" and dam construction. Dams alter water height, eliminating nesting sites and in some cases precluding access to the shoreline altogether. The sandy riverbanks, which serve as traditional communal nesting sites are literally being scooped out and removed. As the need for sand for construction increases so does the destruction of the habitats themselves affecting all the wildlife, including turtles.

In 1996, 3.5 million kg of turtles were imported and consumed in Hong Kong alone. The most common turtle found in this market was Mauremys mutica. Averaging 1.2 kg each, that equals well over 3 million turtles in one year.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on Land
Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Date of last update
23.09.2020 – 22:17 CEST