Freshwater Turtles Study in Hainan

Hainan has high chelonian (turtle) diversity with 11 non-marine species currently known. All species are threatened due to lack of focused conservation efforts, with habitats being destroyed and poaching remaining a serious problem.

In order to determine the current conservation status of Hainan's chelonians, KCC launched an ongoing survey in Yinggeling Nature Reserve, which reportedly supports populations of all turtle species on the island, especially the critically endangered box turtles and Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii).

Outreach activities have been conducted in surrounding communities to raise conservation awareness, and we are planning to expand our survey efforts to other chelonian hotspots of the island.