Vietnam home to two of the most endangered turtles
  • | | September 19, 2010 03:55 PM

Conservation International (CI) has released a list of the 10 most endangered turtles in the world, and two from the list, including the most endangered, are from Vietnam.

The red river giant softshell turtle (Rafetus Swinhoei) has only four known reaming individuals alive in the world today and is critically endangered.

The turtle is one of the rarest in the world and one of them lives in Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. Another lives in Dong Mo Lake just outside of Hanoi. The other two are in China. They both dwell at Changsha Zoo and are an 80 year-old female and 100 year-old male. The two have produce eggs before, but none of them survived.

Freshwater turtles worldwide have dwindling numbers and Vietnam has two species atop the list of the 10 most endangered. The Rafetus Swinhoei (Known as the Hoan Kiem turtle in Vietnam) is the number 1 most endangered followed by the Mauremys Annamensis at the number 9 position.

The main threats to these turtles are hunting, habitat changes and demand on the black market.

The Rafetus Swinhoei is thought to be the largest fresh water turtle in the world. Reports from the 1930\'s show that there were in abundance of these turtles but by 1941, reports of the turtles in the wild ended. Despite the rarity of the turtle, there are claims that they are still occasionally available on black markets in places such as China and Hong Kong.

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