Northern River Terrapin

Northern River Terrapin

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Superfamily
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Batagur baska
Population size
below 100
Life Span
25 yrs
WEIGHT
18 kg
LENGTH
up to 60 cm

The Northern river terrapin is a rare freshwater turtle native to Southeast Asia. It is one of Asia's largest freshwater and breakwater turtles. The upper surface of its carapace and the soft parts are generally olive-brown, while the plastron is yellowish. Head and neck are brown with reddish bases. Males in breeding coloration have a black head and neck with a crimson or orange dorsal surface and red or orange forelegs. The color of the pupils also changes during this period, to brown in females and yellow-white in males.

Distribution

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Biogeographical realms

Northern river terrapins are currently found in Bangladesh, India, and Myanmar. They are strongly aquatic but use terrestrial nesting sites, frequenting the tidal areas of estuaries, large rivers, and mangrove forests.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Northern river terrapins spend most of their time in water and only come on land to lay eggs. They are even known to undertake long seasonal migrations of 50 to 60 miles (80.5-96.5 kilometers) to the sand banks where they were hatched. Northern river terrapins are social creatures and are often seen basking together during the day. At night they rest in their burrows in the mud at low tide.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Northern river terrapins have an omnivorous diet, taking waterside plants and small animals such as clams.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
December-March
INCUBATION PERIOD
70-80 days
BABY NAME
hatchling
BABY CARRYING
10-34 eggs

The breeding season of Northern river terrapins takes place between December and March. Females usually lay three clutches of 10-34 eggs each; communal clutches of several females in one nest are not uncommon. The eggs typically hatch in 70-80 days, depending on the temperature and the depth of the nest.

Population

Population threats

The Northern river terrapin is considered extinct in much of its former range, principally due to exploitation as a food item (including egg harvesting). Previously, immense numbers were shipped into the fish markets of Calcutta from throughout India; among the Bengali Hindus, the river terrapin was considered the most delectable of all turtles. It is still illegally exported from Indonesia and traded in large numbers in China. Loss of nesting beaches and pollution are also impacting the species.

Population number

According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Northern river terrapin is fewer than 100 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.

References

1. Northern River Terrapin on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_river_terrapin
2. Northern River Terrapin on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/97358453/2788691

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