WHY IN THE NEWS?
In recent years, a lot of efforts have been put by conservationists to save the world’s most endangered turtle, Swinhoe’s softshell turtle from the brink of extinction.
- The animal is also known as the Hoan Kiem turtle or Yangtze giant softshell turtle.
- In Vietnam, these animals have great cultural significance as people in Hanoi revere this creature as a living god.
Scientific Name: Rafetus swinhoei
- These turtles are grey with light grey or yellow spots.
- Some researchers have highlighted their importance to the seafloor biosystem, where they contribute by enriching soil nutrients and facilitating seed dispersion.
- The natural habitat for these turtles are wetlands and large lakes.
- Native to China and Vietnam.
- IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered
- CITES: Appendix II
- They have been driven to the brink by hunting for their meat and eggs, as well as by the destruction of their habitat.