Conservation status

Six species are listed as Vulnerable, five as Endangered, and five as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. As with most turtle species endemic to Asia, the softshells of China, Southeast Asia, and India are heavily exploited for food and medicine. Most softshells are dependent upon high levels of dissolved oxygen in their aquatic environment; therefore, they are particularly vulnerable to the effects of habitat destruction and degradation. They are extremely sensitive to rotenone, a chemical that is intentionally added to streams to kill fish, and pesticides (e.g., DDT) in farmland runoff. Human consumption has taken a heavy toll on the populations of many Asian species. Many species are legally protected by local countries, but exploitation continues. Some species are used to meet the demands of food markets.

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