Poaching of Freshwater Turtle Seriously Impact on Endangered Species

Poaching of freshwater turtles to supply the food market has produced serious impact on endangered species. About a week ago, some carapace of Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) and hundreds of Cuora amboinensis carapace found in a poacher in Province of Kalimantan Tengah. This province is habitat for B. borneoensis, O. borneensis, B. affinis, C. amboinensis.

freshwater turtle carapace, included Painted Terrapin, for sell
freshwater turtle carapace, included Painted Terrapin, for sell (photo: WenDrakula)

According to an information, the poacher said that these carapaces are for sell, but he did not know what would be used for,may be for traditional medicine purpose. These carapaces are the rest of the individuals that had been killed for their meat. Then the meat was supplied to the consumer market.

The collectors claimed that they did not aware that some of these turtles are Painted Terrapin, a species  that facing extinction globally. They assumed that all are a same species – Malayan Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis). Cuora amboinensis is a species that permitted and has quota for sell, weather for pet or food.

This is an evidence that a lack of poacher’s knowledge has produced serious troubles to survival of population of endangered freshwater turtle. Therefore, a possibility that female of B. borneoensis and other endangered species such as O. borneensis were also killed in the past are extensive due to the poachers could not identify the species and their sex correctly.