yangtze giant softshell turtle population

McCormack agrees. An 80-year-old Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle, the only female known to exist, was moved in May to a zoo in Suzhou to mate with a 100-year-old male turtle. Goldberg’s team matched eDNA collected from water samples of Xuan Khanh Lake to known samples of the species, suggesting that there was indeed a Yangtze giant softshell turtle living in the lake. “We didn’t feel the photo in itself [taken in May 2017] was clear enough. [32] In May 2015, the female was successfully inseminated. Little is known about the species ecology, but it is believed to have inhabited lakes and large river habitats in the lower Yangtze and the Red River, and perhaps in river basins between these two fluvial systems. [11][12] Its head can measure over 20 cm (7.9 in) in length and 10 cm (3.9 in) in width. The golden turtle first appeared during the reign of King An Dương Vương (257-207 BC) and assisted the king in the construction of defenses for the ancient capital of Co Loa. The turtle died Saturday afternoon, the Suzhou city government said in a statement, citing the zoo. In the future we hope the Vietnamese authorities take more responsibility for protection of this species.”. These turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in the world, but they are also on the brink of extinction. [24], The placement of the related or conspecific Hoan Kiem turtle, Rafetus leloii, remains poorly known and controversial. [27] The two specimens were able to produce two clutches of eggs, with over half of them being fertile, though all of them perished before hatching. Recent Sighting Puts Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle Population To Four Individuals April 13, 2018 hbspt.cta.load(5981609, '8f4c6e6c-f5b2-40c0-926e-1af2470257f3', {}); Mongabay is a reader-supported conservation and environmental science news service. “I’ve put a lot of time into looking for this species and have always believed it has a chance.”. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) is also known as the Red River giant softshell turtle and in Chinese as the speckled softshell turtle. Skulls are often kept as trophies. [26], Conservation efforts are concentrated on breeding captive turtles in China and searching for live specimens in the wild. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle was one of only four believed to be left in the world. It is listed on CITES Appendix II. Podcast: Is Brazil’s biodiverse savanna getting the attention it deserves, finally? The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is noted for its deep head with a pig-like snout and dorsally placed eyes. Jian W, Hai-Tao S, Cheng W, Lian-Xian H (2013). So far, no population increase. Little is known about the species ecology, but it is believed to have inhabited lakes and large river habitats in the lower Yangtze and the Red River, and perhaps in river basins between these two fluvial systems. R. swinhoei is also the largest species of freshwater turtle in the world; it’s been recorded to reach sizes of over 39 inches in length and 28 inches in width and has a lifespan of up to 100 years in the wild. In 1880, the Shanghai-based French Jesuit Pierre Marie Heude obtained several specimens of this turtle, from the Huangpu River (near Shanghai) and Lake Tai (near Suzhou). Rare Yangtze giant softshell turtle population down to 3 https://ift.tt/eA8V8J BEIJING — The only known female member of one of the world’s rarest turtle species has died at a zoo in southern China, officials said Sunday. Rare Yangtze giant softshell turtle population down to 3 Back to video. They are the largest species of freshwater turtles in the world, measuring up to forty inches in length and weighing easily over 200 pounds. A major target of the survey are parts of the Red River in Yunnan Province. Yangtze giant softshell, world's rarest turtle, dies in China zoo leaving only 3 known alive. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle, believed to be more than 90 years old, died in Suzhou Zoo, just outside Shanghai, just a day after officials made a last-ditch effort at artificial insemination. Does someone know the economic reasoning for the extinction of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle? The carapaces are smooth and olive green and the turtles have quizzical faces with small eyes and a pointed snout. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). Half of the eggs were left in the sand to incubate naturally, while the other half were moved to incubate at varying temperatures and humidities. Rafetus swinhoei ou Tortue à carapace molle du Fleuve Bleu ou de Swinhoe — appelée également Tortue géante à carapace molle du Fleuve Rouge ou encore Tortue molle de Shanghai — est une espèce de tortues de la famille des Trionychidae [1].En danger critique d'extinction, elle fait partie de la liste des 100 espèces les plus menacées au monde établie par l'UICN en 2012. The Yangtze giant softshell occupies a regal position in national lore. Due to this fact, the turtle is listed as critically endangered by IUCN Red List. Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. Although the animal’s the right shape and a good size, it just wasn’t identifiable,” he said. The last known female Yangtze giant softshell turtle has died in China, according to Chinese state media, potentially dooming the species to extinction. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. In 2015 artificial insemination was attempted, a first for this species. The move was coordinated by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Turtle Survival Alliance. Some experts have now confirmed the presence of a Yangtze giant softshell turtle in Vietnam, increasing the total known population of the turtle to four individuals. [16], For other species with similar names, see, Phylogenetic arrangement of turtles based on, {{cite iucn}}: error: |doi= / |page= mismatch (. swinhoei. Rare Yangtze giant softshell turtle population down to 3 https://ift.tt/eA8V8J BEIJING — The only known female member of one of the world’s rarest turtle species has died at a zoo in southern China, officials said Sunday. However, all efforts to date to induce breeding, including artificial insemination, have failed. There are only four known living individuals, two in the wild and two in zoos. “This could be used to bring the two animals so far identified in Vietnam together, if male and female, for breeding. Cu Rua: Vietnam mourns revered Hanoi turtle, Relocation of endangered Chinese turtle may save species, "New individual of world's rarest turtle found in Hanoi", Notes on Chinese Mud-Tortoises (Trionychidae), with the Description of a new Species sent to the British Museum by Mr. Swinhoe, and Observations on the Male Organ of this Family, "COMPARATIVE MORPHOLOGICAL AND DNA ANALYSIS OF SPECIMENS OF GIANT FRESHWATER SOFT-SHELLED TURTLE IN VIETNAM RELATED TO HOAN KIEM TURTLE", "Bid to save world's rarest turtles fails", "Attempt to breed Rafetus in captivity ends in disappointment", "World's Last Yangtze Turtle Pair Fails to Reproduce, Again", "First Artificial Breeding Attempt for World's Rarest Turtle Unsuccessful", "There Are Only 3 of These Turtles Left on Earth", "Interview surveys in northern Vietnam look for remaining Swinhoe's softshell turtles in the wild", "Population of world's rarest giant turtle rises to 4 with new discovery", "More than one individual of Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle living in Dong Mo lake? Although hard to compare due to the extremely small number of remaining specimens, its average and maximum sizes seem to exceed other large freshwater turtles such as alligator snapping turtles and related giant softshells such as other Rafetus and Pelochelysspecies. The state-run People's Daily reported the female turtle was 90-years-old and lived in Suzhou Zoo with a male. This female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (pictured at her home at China's Suzhou Zoo) died while recovering from anesthesia on April 12, 2019. Only three to four living specimens are known; one to two at Dong Mo Lake Son Tay in Hanoi, Vietnam, (taxonomy of the second individual is not yet certain), one at Xuan Khanh Lake near Hanoi, Vietnam,[14] and one in Suzhou zoo in China. [18] On April 13, 2019, the only female turtle in Suzhou Zoo was reported dead shortly after the latest fertilization process. Turtle Soup – Even though it may sound preposterous to some, softshell turtles are a delicacy in some countries and regions! April 15, 2019 / 5:15 AM / CBS/AP Dudgeon D (2010). “If the fishing teams should catch the animal this week, accidentally or otherwise, we’d expect a rapid response from the authorities,” he said. [38] At some point prior to 2015, a survey team from the conservation group Turtle Island apparently managed to locate an individual of R. swinhoei in a section of the Red River between two reservoirs. Although apparently common in the past, populations of the Giant Softshell Turtle have steadily declined over the years as a result of habitat degradation, the harvesting of adults and young turtles, and egg collecting. The recent death of the last known surviving female Yangtze giant soft shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) means that the species is now walking into the sunset.According to media reports, the female died after a failed artificial insemination in Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest Zoo in eastern China's Jiangsu Province on April 12, 2019.She was 90 years-old. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member. [22] He named the species Oscaria swinhoei, and described it as "the most beautiful species of Trionychidae that has yet occurred."[23]. Really we need more staff, as is often the case in conservation [the] funds are limited.”. The Asian Turtle Program of Indo-Myanmar Conservation, Washington State University, and Turtle Survival Alliance are very excited to announce the confirmation of a Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) living in a lake outside of Hanoi, Vietnam! When Cu Rua, an old Yangtze giant softshell turtle, died in Vietnam in 2016, he left behind only three of his kind: an elderly pair in a Chinese zoo, and a wild individual in a Vietnamese lake called Dong Mo. Image credit: Gerald Kuchling. Sadly, the Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle replaced the Pinta Island Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii) as the chelonian most at risk of extinction when the last remaining individual of the tortoise species, "Lonesome George," died in 2012. turtles weighing over 10 kg (22 lb)) that could be collected in the Yangtze River per one study was 25 kg (55 lb), although not all specimens were definitively identified as Rafetus. The image wasn’t sufficiently clear to confirm the species, though, and intensive surveys of the lake over subsequent years failed to confirm the turtle’s presence. These extraordinary turtles are teetering on the brink of extinction. Two of these turtles live in captivity at the Suzhou Zoo in China and one wild turtle … Now, some turtle experts are confident they’ve identified a fourth specimen of this critically endangered turtle in Vietnam’s Xuan Khanh lake. “It would also provide much easier security for the animals,” he added. [11], The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is on the brink of extinction due to habitat loss, hunting for subsistence and local consumption, and the use of the carapace and bones in alternative medicine. Our biweekly podcast delivering news & inspiration from nature’s frontline. [3][4][5], The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is noted for its deep head with a pig-like snout and dorsally placed eyes. “It is difficult to detect a species at very low densities with eDNA, the sample has to be collected fairly close to where the animal is or was very recently,” Goldberg told Mongabay. The turtle has a little head, a beak akin to the snout of a pig, and dorsally placed eyes. [9] Its carapace, or shell, can grow larger than 50 cm (20 in), with the largest shell that could be found having measured 86 cm (34 in) in length. With only three known individuals still alive, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) is the most endangered species of turtle in the world. [34] In Oct. 2018, the Asian Turtle Program announced that it was interviewing local people to collect data to guideline searches for R. swinhoei in the very large area of flooded valleys formed by damming the Da River. With only three known individuals still alive, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) is the most endangered species of turtle in the world. One of the remaining four individuals is in captivity at Suzhou Zoo, China, where efforts are ongoing to achieve captive breeding. But we are confident enough to go public with this.”. Our EIN or tax ID is 45-3714703. So the team partnered with Caren Goldberg, an ecologist at Washington State University, U.S., to see if they could identify the species using environmental DNA (eDNA) — tiny DNA fragments that animals leave behind in the environment when they lose cells, such as by shedding skin or excreting waste. The Yangtze giant softshell occupies a regal position in national lore. The fishermen using the lake have also signed no-hunting agreements, and McCormack’s team has been raising community support for the protection of the species. The enormous Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the world’s rarest turtle, with only three individuals thought to remain in the world. Lê Lợi used this sword to lead a rebellion against the Chinese armies that were in occupation of Vietnam. Reports of a plausible giant softshell turtle in Xuan Khanh Lake first surfaced in 2012 in the form of a photograph, McCormack said. Semen was extracted from the sedated male using electro-ejaculation. Chinese armies that were in occupation of Vietnam, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2000.RLTS.T39621A10252043.en, "Death of rare Yangtze giant softshell turtle leaves 3 remaining in the world", "Almost Extinct Turtle Discovered Living In Wild In Northern Vietnam", "World's Largest Freshwater Turtle Nearly Extinct", "Better than Nessie: Freshwater Turtle Discovery Galvanizes Hope This Earth Month", "Hoan Kiem Lake Turtle: from myth to reality", "Vietnam hauls in beloved turtle for medical treatment". The future of this species rests on the success of the captive breeding efforts or a miraculous discovery of previously unknown populations. Again, the blurry photograph wasn’t enough to confirm the species. Local Chinese scientists are searching for the last existent individuals. The scientists began preparing to mate the two once again in May 2009, which fell within this species' breeding season,[30] but in the fall of 2009, the zoo announced that despite laying 188 eggs, the eggs were infertile and would not hatch. [8] The average size of large turtle specimens (i.e. The last known specimen caught in the wild in China was in 1998 in the Red River between Yuanyang and Jianshui; it was then released. The Suzhou zoo, where the female turtle lived, also houses a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. It has a long neck, capable of periscoping like an otter, a mottled snout, goggly eyes, and a pig nose — its countenance not unlike an alien out of Star Wars. These turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in the world, but they are also on the brink of extinction. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell … [13], A fertile female from the Changsha Zoo was introduced to the only known male in China, a 100-year-old individual in the Suzhou Zoo, in 2008. Our most popular conservation news stories in November 2020, In China, public support grows to rein in the wildlife trade in the wake of the pandemic. [31] The Turtle Survival Alliance issued a statement explaining the infertility was due in part to the turtle's poor diet and the group expressed concern that the zoo's patrons had thrown trash into the turtle's enclosure that, if eaten, could endanger the health of the turtles. Hunting has caused serious decline in some populations, including the aforementioned Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. The individual was photographed two times in 2012 and 2017, but both times the photograph was blurry and provided little confirmation of its identity. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. I'd like to help cover the transaction fees of 0 for my donation. [3][4][5], As of mid-2017, conservationists are searching for any possible wild individuals in the remote parts of China. “During high risk activities, such as fish harvests our team is also full time on the lake. The team has prepared a list of other sites where the species historically occurred, where there have been recent accounts of sightings. Yangtze giant softshell turtle This is the world's most endangered turtle species. "[29] The two turtles were prepared for another round of mating, while being fed a high-calcium diet in an effort to strengthen the eggs. The last known female Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle died in a Suzhou zoo in China in 2019.. A specimen at the Beijing Zoo died in 2005, and another one at the Shanghai Zoo died in 2006; both of them were caught at Gejiu in the 1970s. [36] In Nov. 2018, it was announced that a second, smaller individual of R. swinhoei also lives in Dong Mo Lake; this individual had long been confused with the larger turtle until the summer of 2018, when both turtles were seen raising their heads out of the water at the same time. After decades of dams, overhunting and pollution the Yangtze giant softshell turtle is down to three known individuals.But conservationists In February of last year, a fourth turtle — believed to be nearly 100 years old — died in captivity in Vietnam, reducing the world population by a quarter. ", "The Yangtze Softshell Turtle – TURTLE ISLAND", Video: The Loneliest Animals - "The Last Living Pair of Rafetus Turtles" -, "Climate Change and the New Age of Extinction", It's love or bust for Yangtze turtles - The Observer, Northern New Guinea giant softshell turtle, turtles of the world 2017 update: Annotated checklist and atlas of taxonomy, synonymy, distribution, and conservation status, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Yangtze_giant_softshell_turtle&oldid=993201056, IUCN Red List critically endangered species, Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text, Articles containing traditional Chinese-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2020, All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Vague or ambiguous geographic scope from April 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 09:25. 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