Conservation status

On the IUCN Red List, 11 species are listed as Vulnerable, 18 as Endangered, 13 as Critically Endangered, and one as Extinct. These turtles are in precipitous decline in Asia, where they are ruthlessly exploited for food, traditional medicines, and the pet trade. Habitat loss further compounds this crisis situation. Beyond the species presumed to be extinct, several species have not recently been seen in the wild. The extinction in nature of perhaps one-third of the included species is virtually a certainty unless this exploitation and the forces behind it can be curbed. Captive breeding programs for many of these threatened species are underway and may be the only hope for their long-term existence.

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