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Endangered Japanese animals: Ryukyu black-breasted turtle

Animal

Ryukyu black-breasted turtle is a turtle unique to Japan that inhabits only the main island of Okinawa, Tokashiki Island, and Kume Island. It is classified into the genus Geoemyda, Geoemydidae. It is a very rare turtle that lives only in the forest. It is also a turtle that is a natural monument designated by the Japanese government. It is protected by the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties and is prohibited from touching. In recent years, the number of Ryukyu black-breasted turtles has decreased considerably, and it has been designated as an endangered species. Habitat destruction by humans is a major cause.

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Habitat

It is a turtle peculiar to Japan. It inhabits only the main island of Okinawa, Tokashiki Island, and Kume Island.

Characteristic

The Ryukyu black-breasted turtle has a long oval shell. The abdomen is black or dark brown, and the outer edge is yellow. It is a small turtle with a maximum instep length of about 15 cm. The carapace is low and the head is brown, dark brown or orange. The limbs and tail prefer brown or dark brown and moist forest areas. No habitat has been confirmed in arid areas. It is a semi-aquatic creature that occasionally enters the water. In winter, you have more time to rest. I often rest in the shade of rocks or in the grass.

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Ecology

Ryukyu black-breasted turtles eat insects, earthworms, and snails. Other than that, we know that we also eat nuts, leaves and fruits. The breeding form is oviparous. It breeds from April to September and can lay 4-6 eggs at a time. There are still many unclear points about the details of breeding, and it remains a mystery. Natural enemies for Ryukyu black-breasted turtles include cats, dogs, and wild boars.

Endangered species

Ryukyu black-breasted turtles mainly prefer watersides and forest areas. However, the habitat is decreasing due to the progress of deforestation in recent years. In addition, they are often preyed on by their natural enemies, dogs and cats, so the number is further reduced. Against this background, it has been designated as a national natural monument since 1975. It is also designated as an endangered species on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It was published in Washington Convention II in 2013.

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Breeding

Ryukyu black-breasted turtle is designated as a natural monument and cannot be bred. It can only be bred at a specific research institute or zoo. Therefore, it is quite difficult for ordinary people to breed. Watch it at the zoo or go to Okinawa, Japan.

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