Southeast Asian Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis)

Interesting :

It is quite small turtle with black or brown tortoiseshell. It has white-yellow lower tortoiseshell, white skin but grey legs, black top head, yellow line along its nose until neck trough eyes and upper lip. Moreover, its lower lip, neck, eyes and ears are bright yellow and tortoiseshell with 2 parts which can be opened both sides. Importantly, this kind of turtle is capable to keep its head, tail and legs within tortoiseshell completely.

Habitat :

t has been found in India, Indochina, Malaysia Philippine and Thailand, especially in Northern, Central and Southern part. Forest, Wetlands (inland), Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Cuora amboinensis is largely restricted to standing water bodies, but opportunistically inhabits most types of water bodies except large rivers and reservoirs. It prefers lowland swampy areas with dense vegetation, but also occurs in intermittent streams in hill forest areas, mangrove creeks, rice paddies and irrigation canals, from tidal areas up to about 400 m altitude (Das 1991, van Dijk 1998, Schoppe and Das 2011). This species feeds on a wide variety of plant and animal matter; aquatic and terrestrial plants, fruits, molluscs, crustaceans, worms, insect larvae and mushrooms have all been reported in the diet (Schoppe and Das 2011). Animals may reach nearly 25 cm (Lim and Das 1999), but usually remain smaller (Schoppe and Das 2011). Maturity has been reported at 13 cm carapace length for males and 15 cm carapace length for females, at six years. Schoppe (pers. obs.) presumes that it takes approx. 4.5–5 years to attain maturity in captivity and at least one more year to reach that stage in the wild (Schoppe and Das 2011). Females usually produce 1 or 2 clutches of 1–5 eggs per year. (review in Das 1991). A mean of three clutches with two eggs each resulting in a total of six eggs per female per year are laid in captivity by the Palawan subpopulation (Schoppe 2008, 2009). The mean size of the individuals is reduced as a result of over-exploitation in Indonesia and Malaysia (Schoppe 2008, 2009). Generation length is estimated at 18 years (age of first reproduction = six years x three). Three generations corresponds to 54 years.

Food :

It likes to eat vegetable, fruit, fish, shell, crab and shrimp.

Behavior :

It prefers to live in creek, downstream and canal, mostly on land and hide in hump of grass. Additionally.

Current Status :

Endangered The genus Cuora, including C. amboinensis, is included in CITES Appendix II since 2000, allowing international commercial trade in the species provided such trade is not detrimental to the species, and subject to national trade legislation. Cuora amboinensis is not listed in the Schedules of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 (amended), but a revision is warranted as it likely qualifies for inclusion in Schedule IV. In Lao PDR, the species was included in Prohibited Category (I) of Decree of the Council of Ministers No. 118/CCM on the Management and Protection of Aquatic Animals, Wildlife and on Hunting and Fishing, 1989, meaning hunting and collection is permanently banned. Myanmar’s Protection of Wildlife, Wild Plants and Conservation of Natural Areas Law, 1994, affords Protected status to C. amboinensis. In the Philippines, C. amboinensis is covered under the Philippine Wildlife Act (RA 9147), prohibiting collection and trade. The species is legally protected from exploitation in Thailand under the WARPA law of 1992. In Viet Nam, C. amboinensis is not specifically protected, but receives some protection under Circular 62/2001/TT-BNN (2001) which prohibits the export of various wildlife including all native turtle species, and Directive 359 (1996) restricting trade in wildlife and animal parts, including prohibiting the sale of wildlife in restaurants. In Cambodia, the species occurs in the protected Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve (Platt et al. 2008). Cuora amboinensis is protected in Peninsular Malaysia and its collection is regulated in Sabah and Sarawak. The species is not protected under wildlife laws in Brunei or Indonesia, although it is known to occur in protected areas in these countries. International trade in the species was brought under CITES control in 2000, and this combined with reduced export quotas from Indonesia resulted in a very significant reduction of market supply and turnover in East Asia in recent years. Some farming for the up-market consumption trade takes place in China. Captive breeding occurs in modest numbers in Europe and North America and should be sufficient to supply core turtle hobbyist demand for the species. Cuora amboinensis has been recorded from Galathea National Park (Great Nicobar), D’Ering Wildlife Sanctuary (Arunachal Pradesh), Kaziranga National Park, Manas Tiger Reserve and Orang Wildlife Sanctuary (Assam), Dipraizaikoa, and possibly Ngengpui, in India (Hanfee 1999); Ujong Kulong in Java, Indonesia; small populations have been documented in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary and Bung Boraphet Natural Heritage Area in Thailand (P.P. van Dijk pers. obs.). Trade monitoring remains important, as are surveys of distribution and population status throughout its range, with emphasis on verifying viable populations in effectively protected areas. Further research on taxonomy and natural history would be welcome.


CLASS : Reptilia

ORDER : Testudines

FAMILY : Geoemydidae

GENUS : Cuora

SPECIES : Southeast Asian Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis)

Conservation status : Endangered

Reproductive :

it breed in water but lay on land about 2-3 eggs many times a year.

Reference :

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Point of view :

Update : 11 April 2017