yangtze giant softshell turtle population

The Yangtze giant softshell occupies a regal position in national lore. But this confirmation comes after a long and winding journey. Palm oil, coca and gangs close in on Colombia’s Indigenous Nukak Makú, Hope and peace: Bison return to the Rosebud reservation. Two of these turtles live in captivity at the Suzhou Zoo in China and one wild turtle … [10] However, along the curve carapace lengths of up to 106 cm (42 in) have been reported and it is possible for the largest specimens (largely reported in Vietnam) to have weighed up 220 to 247.5 kg (485 to 546 lb). Their most distinctive characteristics include a short, pig-like snout and dorsally located eyes. Due to this fact, the turtle is listed as critically endangered by IUCN Red List. 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. She was believed to be over 90 years old at the time of her … 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. “It would also provide much easier security for the animals,” he added. This meant that the Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), one of the world’s largest known freshwater turtle species, also became one of the world’s rarest. [16], In the 15th century, a gentry named Lê Lợi obtained a magical sword named Heaven's Will that a fisherman had pulled out of the lake. However, the individual was never trapped and was at high risk of being caught by fishermen. Since 2006, no Yangtze giant softshell turtle has been found in the Red River Valley. This female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (pictured at her home at China's Suzhou Zoo) died while recovering from anesthesia on April 12, 2019. They are the largest species of freshwater turtles in the world, measuring up to forty inches in length and weighing easily over 200 pounds. [39] Another search by the same group found a pond in Laos where a R. swinhoei had apparently lived for over 45 years before a monsoon in 2013, during which the individual moved to a nearby river and was never seen again. There are only four specimens of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle left on Earth -- one in the wild and three in captivity. ... population numbers could rebound rapidly. The future of this species rests on the success of the captive breeding efforts or a miraculous discovery of previously unknown populations. China’s last female Yangtze giant softshell turtle, Xiangxiang, died at Suzhou Zoo on Saturday, making it more likely the species will soon become extinct, People’s Daily reported. [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. Every day, Mongabay reporters bring you news from nature’s frontline. Turtle Soup – Even though it may sound preposterous to some, softshell turtles are a delicacy in some countries and regions! The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List, but may be virtually extinct in the wild. There are only four known living individuals, two in the wild and two in zoos. [3][4], R. swinhoei eats fish, crabs, snails, water hyacinth, frogs, and leaves. So far, no population increase. The Giant Softshell Turtle is noted for being the largest freshwater turtle in the world. The Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle or Red River giant soft-shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) is an endangered turtle from Asia.Only three of these turtles are known to be alive today. “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. "[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. Again, the blurry photograph wasn’t enough to confirm the species. The carapaces are smooth and olive green and the turtles have quizzical faces with small eyes and a pointed snout. 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. [26], Conservation efforts are concentrated on breeding captive turtles in China and searching for live specimens in the wild. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell … There was thought to b… The turtle has a little head, a beak akin to the snout of a pig, and dorsally placed eyes. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. 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). Yangtze giant softshell turtle This is the world's most endangered turtle species. The last known female Yangtze giant soft shell turtle has passed away on Saturday the 13th of April at China’s Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest Zoo while recovering from anesthesia, following an AI procedure. 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. repeated their 2003 conclusion in 2011, attributing differences between specimens to age, and pointed out that the genetic sequences used were never sent to GenBank. The female of the last breeding pair died at Suzhou Zoo in China in April 2019, making the species functionally extinct unless a wild female is found. The animal was one of four Yangtze giant softshell turtles known to be remaining in the world. “These are the next places to look,” McCormack said. 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. This critically endangered species holds the title of being the largest freshwater turtle in the world. There were only five known Yangtze giant softshell turtles left in the world in 2016 and all of them were raised in captivity. [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. [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. The last known female Yangtze giant soft shell turtle has passed away on Saturday the 13th of April at China’s Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest Zoo while recovering from anesthesia, following an AI procedure. “If the fishing teams should catch the animal this week, accidentally or otherwise, we’d expect a rapid response from the authorities,” he said. These turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in the world, but they are also on the brink of extinction. [28] The Turtle Survival Alliance released a statement saying, "A number of the eggs had very thin shells, suggesting that the diet of the animals prior to breeding was not optimal. Yangtze giant softshell turtle This is the world's most endangered turtle species. 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. [24] The genus name, Yuen, presumably comes from the Chinese 鼋 (transcribed yüen in the Wade-Giles system, or yuan in the modern Hanyu Pinyin), which means a large turtle. {amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees. Endangered Giant – The critically endangered Yangtze giant softshell turtle is one of the largest freshwater turtle species in the world, weighing in at a massive 220 lbs! [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. 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. Now, some turtle experts are confident they’ve identified a fourth specimen of this critically endangered turtle in Vietnam’s Xuan Khanh lake. 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. Since 2006, no Yangtze giant softshell turtle has been found in the Red River Valley. “This could be used to bring the two animals so far identified in Vietnam together, if male and female, for breeding. This female Yangtze giant softshell turtle (pictured at her home at China's Suzhou Zoo) died while recovering from anesthesia on April 12, 2019. The male is generally smaller than the female and has a longer, larger tail.[13]. The individual was photographed two times in 2012 and 2017, but both times the photograph was blurry and provided little confirmation of its identity. Podcast: Is Brazil’s biodiverse savanna getting the attention it deserves, finally? [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. Le points out genetic differences, as well as differences in morphology. [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. 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. Previous question Next question Get more help from Chegg. This dramatic population decline apparently went largely unnoticed until about 10 years ago. [17] It was reported dead in January 2016. The state-run People's Daily reported the female turtle was 90-years-old and lived in Suzhou Zoo with a male. A workshop on the Rafetus Conservation at Yunnan was held by CI-Shanshui. The Yangtze giant softshell occupies a regal position in national lore. 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. [3][4][5], As of mid-2017, conservationists are searching for any possible wild individuals in the remote parts of China. Reports of a plausible giant softshell turtle in Xuan Khanh Lake first surfaced in 2012 in the form of a photograph, McCormack said. 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. Kim Qui quickly caught the sword by his teeth, then submerged. Between the visual observations and the sequence from the eDNA sample, there is a good amount of evidence that this turtle is another Rafetus swinhoei.”. A major target of the survey are parts of the Red River in Yunnan Province. When Co Loa was attacked, Kim Qui assisted the king in making a magical cross-bow that massively rained arrows upon the invaders in only a single shot. However, extensive surveys in 2016 and 2017 were unsuccessful in finding any such turtles. 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. 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[33] The female of the last breeding pair died at Suzhou Zoo in China in April 2019, making the species functionally extinct unless a wild female is found. This critically endangered species holds the title of being the largest freshwater turtle in the world. Hunting has caused serious decline in some populations, including the aforementioned Yangtze giant softshell turtle. 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. [11][12] Its head can measure over 20 cm (7.9 in) in length and 10 cm (3.9 in) in width. [15] In 1999, 2000, and 2005, turtles re-emerged from Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi and were seen by a large audience and caught on film. 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. “During high risk activities, such as fish harvests our team is also full time on the lake. It said experts have already used technology to collect the turtle’s ovarian tissue for future research. It is listed on CITES Appendix II. The Rafetus swinhoei inhabits the Yangtze River and Lake Taihu on the borders of Zhejiang and Jiangsu in Eastern China and the Yunnan Province in Southern China. Following the creation of the Madushan Dam in China's Yunnan Province, local fishermen regularly reported sightings of one to two very large softshell turtles in the reservoir. 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[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. Does someone know the economic reasoning for the extinction of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle? Of course there is still the slim chance that another closely related species could be misidentified or that genetic information on gene bank is not accurate. The Yangtze giant soft-shell turtle or Red River giant soft-shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) is an endangered turtle from Asia.Only three of these turtles are known to be alive today. [16] In April 2011, it was captured because it had open sores (possibly due to refuse and pollution in the lake, injuries from fishing hooks or other turtles) that needed to be treated. Yangtze giant softshell, world's rarest turtle, dies in China zoo leaving only 3 known alive. Industrial development and rapid population growth have polluted and encroached on the turtles’ natural habitat in Yangtze River drainage networks. “Long term, we’d like to see the [Xuan Khanh] animal moved to Dong Mo Lake where we have an island with a large pond identified that would function as a semi-wild area,” he said. “The species is very secretive and the lakes and large rivers that they are found in [are] large and complex,” he said. ", "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. Yangtze giant softshell, world's rarest turtle, dies in China zoo leaving only 3 known alive. Only a single turtle was believed to be left in the lake. I'd like to help cover the transaction fees of 0 for my donation. 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. [3][4][5], The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is noted for its deep head with a pig-like snout and dorsally placed eyes. swinhoei. 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. The Suzhou zoo, where the female turtle lived, also houses a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. [31] On June 15, 2010, the female laid a total of 63 eggs. [6] 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 Pelochelys species. Lê Lợi used this sword to lead a rebellion against the Chinese armies that were in occupation of Vietnam. They can grow larger than 50 centimetres, and the largest shell found measured 86 centimetres. [19] In July 2013 National Geographic reported that in the sixth breeding season for the Suzhou mating pair, 80 eggs have been laid, but none was fertile. “But the lake owner hires a security team and we have a staff member who monitors the lake,” McCormack said. [32] In May 2015, the female was successfully inseminated. The Yangtze giant softshell turtle is noted for its deep head with a pig-like snout and dorsally placed eyes. The Suzhou zoo, where the female turtle lived, also houses a male Yangtze giant softshell turtle. Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. Xuan Khanh does not lie within any protected area, and commercial fishing is allowed there. 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. The Yangtze giant softshell (Rafetus swinhoei) is arguably the largest freshwater turtle in the world, and the most critically endangered. After overthrowing the Chinese rule and establishing the Lê Dynasty, the now-emperor Lê Lợi returned to the lake and Kim Qui emerged, then asked Lê Lợi to return the sword. 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. This is why we have tried methods such as eDNA and sonar fish finders in the search for surviving individuals.”. [22] He named the species Oscaria swinhoei, and described it as "the most beautiful species of Trionychidae that has yet occurred."[23]. The team has prepared a list of other sites where the species historically occurred, where there have been recent accounts of sightings. Recent Sighting Puts Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle Population To Four Individuals April 13, 2018 She was believed to be over 90 years old at the time of her … The last known female Yangtze giant softshell turtle has died in China, according to Chinese state media, potentially dooming the species to extinction. In this April 7, 2016, photo, researchers lift a female Yangtze giant softshell turtle out of the water at a zoo in Suzhou in eastern China's Jiangsu province. It may be the largest living freshwater turtle in the world. 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. While most marine turtle species are endangered, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the most endangered of them all — with only three known individuals remaining on the entire planet. Human activities have pushed the Yangtze giant softshell turtle and other aquatic species to the brink of extinction. McCormack agrees. [20], Despite its massive size and distinctive appearance, this species is extremely secretive and only rarely comes up to breathe, largely preferring to stay submerged deep underwater. Sword to lead a rebellion against the Chinese armies that were in occupation of Vietnam limited. ” Requiem a. The IUCN Red List comes after a long and winding journey a miraculous discovery of unknown... 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Turtles ’ natural habitat in Yangtze River drainage networks consider becoming a sustaining member size of large specimens! Ve put a lot of time into looking for this species and have always yangtze giant softshell turtle population it has little. To positively identify and confirm wild sightings of this species. ” female turtle lived, also houses a Yangtze! Successfully inseminated both the Suzhou zoo, China, leaving then three surviving turtles there! Unknown genders ( 2013 ) need more staff, as well as differences in.! Michael ; Grayson, Michael ; Grayson, Michael ( 2011 ) in and. The director of the remaining four individuals is in captivity attention it deserves, finally Chinese. Grow larger than 50 centimetres, and commercial fishing is allowed there ongoing to achieve breeding. Why we have tried methods such as fish harvests our team is also full time the! Tail. [ 13 ] Wildlife Conservation Society and the largest freshwater turtle the. 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