IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Summary

The Asian giant softshell turtle, Pelochelys cantorii (Family Trionychidae), is a large freshwater species which can reach 60–100 cm in total carapace length. It occurs in a variety of habitats, including lakes, rivers, estuaries, seacoasts, and occasionally in coastal marine waters. The species is widespread, occurring from peninsular India to China and Southeast Asia. The taxonomy of the genus Pelochelys has recently been revised, and P. bibroni is now considered to be restricted to southern New Guinea, P. signifera in northern New Guinea, and P. cantorii is now the valid name for the species known from the rest of the range of the genus. However, further study may identify other species within this enormous territory, especially from the Philippines. Aquatic organisms are consumed, including fish, crustaceans and molluscs, in addition to plant matter. Clutch size is 24 to 70 eggs. Nesting sites include riverbanks as well as seacoasts. Exploitation of its flesh for food, suspected killing by anglers and fishermen after getting entangled in fishing gear, and destruction of riverine and coastal habitats are factors in its depletion.

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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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