The Painted Batagur is the largest turtle living in fresh water. They are in danger of extinction because people take them as pets or to eat, and because of the deteriorating environments in and around the rivers they live in.
Shell size: 60cm or more
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
Painted Batagurs live on the Malaysian peninsula, Sumatra Island, and Kalimantan Island.
Young Painted Batagurs eat other animals and plants. Once they become adults, their diet changes to mainly leaves and other plants.
Painted Batagurs live in rivers and sometimes go near the ocean where the seawater mixes with the fresh water. They also lay eggs in sandy beaches like Green Turtles.
Painted Batagurs are popular because of their unique features
The Painted Batagur is known to be the largest turtle living in fresh water. Another reason it is so well known is due to the way male turtles change color during the mating season. The entire head of the male becomes white and develops a bright red spot on the top. This peculiar feature of the Painted Batagur has drawn so much attention that many people captured them for pets.
Poor river environments also make life difficult for the Painted Batagur
The number of Painted Batagurs is declining because people capture them to eat, in addition to river water pollution and deteriorating surrounding environments. In Thailand, where the Painted Batagur is on the brink of extinction, there are strict restrictions against their capture, sale, or purchase. Additionally, there are efforts to increase their number by breeding. Although there are international restrictions against the sale and purchase of Painted Batagurs, there are still many efforts that need to be made to recover their numbers, such as making river environments safe for living in.
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