Scientific name: Platysternon megacephalum (Gray, 1831)
IUCN Red List: Endangered
Protected by the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170)
About the Species
While the species is facing threats on a global scale, little is known about this unique turtle. The Big-headed Turtle is a montane species which is native to China (including Hong Kong), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Although the CITES I listing prevents trade for food and the pet trade, it is the illegal poaching and trafficking globally which is causing major problems for this species over its native range. Poaching is also the main threat facing the species in Hong Kong and few mountain streams are safe.
Over the last decade it has become apparent among the international turtle experts that Hong Kong is now a significant remaining wild locality for the Big headed turtle which is now rare and even locally extinct throughout most of its natural range. Turtles within our private nature reserve receive some protection from security features and patrols that help to monitor animals in the protected area. We also encourage long-term scientific research projects that help to monitor the turtles present.