A rare Assam roofed turtle (Pangshura sylhetensis) has hatched at Turtle Island. We have spent many years raising the parent animals who we acquired as juveniles. Now these animals have produced offspring for the first time.
The Assam roofed turtle is highly specialised and adapted to live in fast flowing rivers. Habitat destruction and collection for the Asian pet trade where they fetch high prices have put this animal in danger of extinction.
Jerdon was the first to describe the Assam roofed turtle in 1870 and as recently as 20 years ago, only 10 individuals had been studied. This species can easily be distinguished from other turtle species by the 26 strongly serrated marginal plates. This species lives in fast flowing streams and small rivers but such habitat is disappearing rapidly. The last few years attractively coloured and shaped turtles have also fetched really high prices in Asia. The Assam roofed turtle is relatively easy to keep but extremely hard to breed. The gravid females are very picky when it comes to finding a nesting area and in order to hatch the eggs need a diapause lasting between 6 to 8 weeks at low temperatures.