Annam leaf turtle

Mauremys annamensis

Irish Name: Lochthurtar Annam
IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

The Annam leaf or Vietnamese pond turtle is one of the world’s most endangered turtles. They have a dark head with three or four yellow stripes on their neck. Their shell is dark brown/black.

Annam leaf turtle

Mauremys annamensis

Irish Name: Lochthurtar Annam
IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

The Annam leaf or Vietnamese pond turtle is one of the world’s most endangered turtles. They have a dark head with three or four yellow stripes on their neck. Their shell is dark brown/black.

General Information

Where do they live? (Natural habitat)

Annam leaf turtles are found in marshes, streams, lakes and ponds in central Vietnam.

How long do they live?

Information on their lifespan in the wild is unknown. The longest living Annam leaf turtle in a zoo has been 46 years old.

What do they eat?

Little is known about their diet in the wild. In zoos, they are omnivores, and feed on fish and vegetables.

Group name

A group of turtles is called a "bale"

Zoo location

Zoorassic World

Closest related species / sister species

The closest related species of the Annam leaf turtle is the yellow pond turtle.

Animal class

Reptilia

Animal order

Testudines

Fun Facts

Heat sensitive

The sex of turtle hatchlings depends on the temperature the egg is incubated at. If it is incubated below 28.9 degrees then the hatchlings tend to be male and above 28.9 degrees, they are mostly female.

Elusive

The Annam leaf turtle had not been observed in the wild by scientists for 65 years between 1941 and 2006.

Seasons change

Their natural habitat in central Vietnam has distinct dry and wet seasons. They have been known to be found in the leaf litter of bamboo trees during the dry season and clinging to tree branches during floods.

Hide

Family Life

Knowledge about their life in the wild is limited, given how rare they are. In zoos, they tend to respond well to living in groups.

Baby name

Hatchling

Gestation (pregnancy) period

The incubation period is anywhere between 80–131 days depending on the heat of their environment.

Fascinatingly, the sex of turtle hatchlings depends on the temperature the egg is incubated at. If it is incubated below 28.9 degrees then the hatchlings tend to be male and above 28.9 degrees, they are mostly female.

Number of young at birth

Females lay 1-4 clutches of eggs per year with 4-7 eggs per clutch.

Weight at birth

6.5 - 11 g

Age at maturity

5-7 years old for females. Males unknown

Size male adult

Shell length of 16-21 cm and 0.7-1.7kg in weight.

Size female adult

Shell length of 19-28 cm and 1.3-2.1kg in weight.

Hide

Conservation

Critically Endangered

The Annam leaf turtle is classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Current population estimate

Surveying the population of Annam leaf turtles has been mostly unsuccessful in recent years, indicating that it is now extremely rare in the wild. It is likely that no more than 50 mature individuals remain in the wild.

Threats

The greatest threats to Annam leaf turtles are poaching for food, traditional medicine and the pet trade, as well as habitat destruction and pollution.

What is Dublin Zoo doing?

Dublin Zoo participates in a European breeding programme for Annam leaf turtles.

Hide

FAQs

  • Where do Annam leaf turtles live?

    Annam leaf turtles are found in marshes, streams, lakes and ponds in central Vietnam.

  • Are Annam leaf turtles endangered?

    The Annam leaf turtle is classified as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are rarely seen in the wild.

  • Why are Annam leaf turtles endangered?

    The greatest threat to Annam leaf turtles is poaching for food, traditional medicine and the pet trade. Other threats include habitat destruction and pollution.

Hide