Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines)

Anders G.J. Rhodin, Craig B. Stanford, Peter Paul Van Dijk, Carla Eisemberg, Luca Luiselli, Russell A. Mittermeier, Rick Hudson, Brian D. Horne, Eric V. Goode, Gerald Kuchling, Andrew Walde, Ernst H.W. Baard, Kristin H. Berry, Albert Bertolero, Torsten E.G. Blanck, Roger Bour, Kurt A. Buhlmann, Linda J. Cayot, Sydney Collett, Andrea Currylow & 37 others Indraneil Das, Tomas Diagne, Joshua R. Ennen, Germán Forero-Medina, Matthew G. Frankel, Uwe Fritz, Gerardo García, J. Whitfield Gibbons, Paul M. Gibbons, Gong Shiping, Joko Guntoro, Margaretha D. Hofmeyr, John B. Iverson, A. Ross Kiester, Michael Lau, Dwight P. Lawson, Jeffrey E. Lovich, Edward O. Moll, Vivian P. Páez, Rosalinda Palomo-Ramos, Kalyar Platt, Steven G. Platt, Peter C.H. Pritchard, Hugh R. Quinn, Shahriar Caesar Rahman, Soary Tahafe Randrianjafizanaka, Jason Schaffer, Will Selman, H. Bradley Shaffer, Dionysius S.K. Sharma, Shi Haitao, Shailendra Singh, Ricky Spencer, Kahleana Stannard, Sarah Sutcliffe, Scott Thomson, Richard C. Vogt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

We present a review and analysis of the conservation status and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threat categories of all 360 currently recognized species of extant and recently extinct turtles and tortoises (Order Testudines). Our analysis is based on the 2018 IUCN Red List status of 251 listed species, augmented by provisional Red List assessments by the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) of 109 currently unlisted species of tortoises and freshwater turtles, as well as re-assessments of several outdated IUCN Red List assessments. Of all recognized species of turtles and tortoises, this combined analysis indicates that 20.0% are Critically Endangered (CR), 35.3% are Critically Endangered or Endangered (CR+EN), and 51.9% are Threatened (CR+EN+Vulnerable). Adjusting for the potential threat levels of Data Deficient (DD) species indicates that 56.3% of all data-sufficient species are Threatened. We calculated percentages of imperiled species and modified Average Threat Levels (ATL; ranging from Least Concern = 1 to Extinct = 8) for various taxonomic and geographic groupings. Proportionally more species in the subfamily Geoemydinae (Asian members of the family Geoemydidae) are imperiled (74.2% CR+EN, 79.0% Threatened, 3.89 ATL) compared to other taxonomic groupings, but the families Podocnemididae, Testudinidae, and Trionychidae and the superfamily Chelonioidea (marine turtles of the families Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae) also have high percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (42.9-50.0% CR+EN, 73.8-100.0% Threatened, 3.44-4.06 ATL). The subfamily Rhinoclemmydinae (Neotropical turtles of the family Geoemydidae) and the families Kinosternidae and Pelomedusidae have the lowest percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (0%-7.4% CR+EN, 7.4%-13.3% Threatened, 1.65-1.87 ATL). Turtles from Asia have the highest percentages of imperiled species (75.0% CR+EN, 83.0% Threatened, 3.98 ATL), significantly higher than predicted based on the regional species richness, due to much higher levels of exploitation in that geographic region. The family Testudinidae has the highest ATL (4.06) of all Testudines due to the extinction of several species of giant tortoises from Indian and Pacific Ocean islands since 1500 CE. The family Testudinidae also has an ATL higher than all other larger polytypic families (≥ 5 species) of Reptilia or Amphibia. The order Testudines is, on average, more imperiled than all other larger orders (≥ 20 species) of Reptilia, Amphibia, Mammalia, or Aves, but has percentages of CR+EN and Threatened species and an ATL (2.96) similar to those of Primates and Caudata (salamanders).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-161
Number of pages27
JournalChelonian Conservation and Biology
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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Testudines
tortoises
conservation status
turtle
turtles
Testudinidae
natural resources conservation
Reptilia
Amphibia
Dermochelyidae
Red List
Trionychidae
Cheloniidae
Indian Ocean Islands
Caudata
Pacific Ocean Islands
Mammalia
Aves
tortoise
threatened species

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Rhodin, A. G. J., Stanford, C. B., Dijk, P. P. V., Eisemberg, C., Luiselli, L., Mittermeier, R. A., ... Vogt, R. C. (2018). Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines). Chelonian Conservation and Biology, 17(2), 135-161. https://doi.org/10.2744/CCB-1348.1
Rhodin, Anders G.J. ; Stanford, Craig B. ; Dijk, Peter Paul Van ; Eisemberg, Carla ; Luiselli, Luca ; Mittermeier, Russell A. ; Hudson, Rick ; Horne, Brian D. ; Goode, Eric V. ; Kuchling, Gerald ; Walde, Andrew ; Baard, Ernst H.W. ; Berry, Kristin H. ; Bertolero, Albert ; Blanck, Torsten E.G. ; Bour, Roger ; Buhlmann, Kurt A. ; Cayot, Linda J. ; Collett, Sydney ; Currylow, Andrea ; Das, Indraneil ; Diagne, Tomas ; Ennen, Joshua R. ; Forero-Medina, Germán ; Frankel, Matthew G. ; Fritz, Uwe ; García, Gerardo ; Gibbons, J. Whitfield ; Gibbons, Paul M. ; Shiping, Gong ; Guntoro, Joko ; Hofmeyr, Margaretha D. ; Iverson, John B. ; Kiester, A. Ross ; Lau, Michael ; Lawson, Dwight P. ; Lovich, Jeffrey E. ; Moll, Edward O. ; Páez, Vivian P. ; Palomo-Ramos, Rosalinda ; Platt, Kalyar ; Platt, Steven G. ; Pritchard, Peter C.H. ; Quinn, Hugh R. ; Rahman, Shahriar Caesar ; Randrianjafizanaka, Soary Tahafe ; Schaffer, Jason ; Selman, Will ; Shaffer, H. Bradley ; Sharma, Dionysius S.K. ; Haitao, Shi ; Singh, Shailendra ; Spencer, Ricky ; Stannard, Kahleana ; Sutcliffe, Sarah ; Thomson, Scott ; Vogt, Richard C. / Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines). In: Chelonian Conservation and Biology. 2018 ; Vol. 17, No. 2. pp. 135-161.
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title = "Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines)",
abstract = "We present a review and analysis of the conservation status and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threat categories of all 360 currently recognized species of extant and recently extinct turtles and tortoises (Order Testudines). Our analysis is based on the 2018 IUCN Red List status of 251 listed species, augmented by provisional Red List assessments by the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) of 109 currently unlisted species of tortoises and freshwater turtles, as well as re-assessments of several outdated IUCN Red List assessments. Of all recognized species of turtles and tortoises, this combined analysis indicates that 20.0{\%} are Critically Endangered (CR), 35.3{\%} are Critically Endangered or Endangered (CR+EN), and 51.9{\%} are Threatened (CR+EN+Vulnerable). Adjusting for the potential threat levels of Data Deficient (DD) species indicates that 56.3{\%} of all data-sufficient species are Threatened. We calculated percentages of imperiled species and modified Average Threat Levels (ATL; ranging from Least Concern = 1 to Extinct = 8) for various taxonomic and geographic groupings. Proportionally more species in the subfamily Geoemydinae (Asian members of the family Geoemydidae) are imperiled (74.2{\%} CR+EN, 79.0{\%} Threatened, 3.89 ATL) compared to other taxonomic groupings, but the families Podocnemididae, Testudinidae, and Trionychidae and the superfamily Chelonioidea (marine turtles of the families Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae) also have high percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (42.9-50.0{\%} CR+EN, 73.8-100.0{\%} Threatened, 3.44-4.06 ATL). The subfamily Rhinoclemmydinae (Neotropical turtles of the family Geoemydidae) and the families Kinosternidae and Pelomedusidae have the lowest percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (0{\%}-7.4{\%} CR+EN, 7.4{\%}-13.3{\%} Threatened, 1.65-1.87 ATL). Turtles from Asia have the highest percentages of imperiled species (75.0{\%} CR+EN, 83.0{\%} Threatened, 3.98 ATL), significantly higher than predicted based on the regional species richness, due to much higher levels of exploitation in that geographic region. The family Testudinidae has the highest ATL (4.06) of all Testudines due to the extinction of several species of giant tortoises from Indian and Pacific Ocean islands since 1500 CE. The family Testudinidae also has an ATL higher than all other larger polytypic families (≥ 5 species) of Reptilia or Amphibia. The order Testudines is, on average, more imperiled than all other larger orders (≥ 20 species) of Reptilia, Amphibia, Mammalia, or Aves, but has percentages of CR+EN and Threatened species and an ATL (2.96) similar to those of Primates and Caudata (salamanders).",
keywords = "Asia, Average Threat Level, chelonians, endangered, extinction, Geoemydinae, imperiled, IUCN Red List, Reptilia, Testudinidae, threatened",
author = "Rhodin, {Anders G.J.} and Stanford, {Craig B.} and Dijk, {Peter Paul Van} and Carla Eisemberg and Luca Luiselli and Mittermeier, {Russell A.} and Rick Hudson and Horne, {Brian D.} and Goode, {Eric V.} and Gerald Kuchling and Andrew Walde and Baard, {Ernst H.W.} and Berry, {Kristin H.} and Albert Bertolero and Blanck, {Torsten E.G.} and Roger Bour and Buhlmann, {Kurt A.} and Cayot, {Linda J.} and Sydney Collett and Andrea Currylow and Indraneil Das and Tomas Diagne and Ennen, {Joshua R.} and Germ{\'a}n Forero-Medina and Frankel, {Matthew G.} and Uwe Fritz and Gerardo Garc{\'i}a and Gibbons, {J. Whitfield} and Gibbons, {Paul M.} and Gong Shiping and Joko Guntoro and Hofmeyr, {Margaretha D.} and Iverson, {John B.} and Kiester, {A. Ross} and Michael Lau and Lawson, {Dwight P.} and Lovich, {Jeffrey E.} and Moll, {Edward O.} and P{\'a}ez, {Vivian P.} and Rosalinda Palomo-Ramos and Kalyar Platt and Platt, {Steven G.} and Pritchard, {Peter C.H.} and Quinn, {Hugh R.} and Rahman, {Shahriar Caesar} and Randrianjafizanaka, {Soary Tahafe} and Jason Schaffer and Will Selman and Shaffer, {H. Bradley} and Sharma, {Dionysius S.K.} and Shi Haitao and Shailendra Singh and Ricky Spencer and Kahleana Stannard and Sarah Sutcliffe and Scott Thomson and Vogt, {Richard C.}",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
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doi = "10.2744/CCB-1348.1",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "135--161",
journal = "Chelonian Conservation and Biology",
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Rhodin, AGJ, Stanford, CB, Dijk, PPV, Eisemberg, C, Luiselli, L, Mittermeier, RA, Hudson, R, Horne, BD, Goode, EV, Kuchling, G, Walde, A, Baard, EHW, Berry, KH, Bertolero, A, Blanck, TEG, Bour, R, Buhlmann, KA, Cayot, LJ, Collett, S, Currylow, A, Das, I, Diagne, T, Ennen, JR, Forero-Medina, G, Frankel, MG, Fritz, U, García, G, Gibbons, JW, Gibbons, PM, Shiping, G, Guntoro, J, Hofmeyr, MD, Iverson, JB, Kiester, AR, Lau, M, Lawson, DP, Lovich, JE, Moll, EO, Páez, VP, Palomo-Ramos, R, Platt, K, Platt, SG, Pritchard, PCH, Quinn, HR, Rahman, SC, Randrianjafizanaka, ST, Schaffer, J, Selman, W, Shaffer, HB, Sharma, DSK, Haitao, S, Singh, S, Spencer, R, Stannard, K, Sutcliffe, S, Thomson, S & Vogt, RC 2018, 'Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines)', Chelonian Conservation and Biology, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 135-161. https://doi.org/10.2744/CCB-1348.1

Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines). / Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Stanford, Craig B.; Dijk, Peter Paul Van; Eisemberg, Carla; Luiselli, Luca; Mittermeier, Russell A.; Hudson, Rick; Horne, Brian D.; Goode, Eric V.; Kuchling, Gerald; Walde, Andrew; Baard, Ernst H.W.; Berry, Kristin H.; Bertolero, Albert; Blanck, Torsten E.G.; Bour, Roger; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Cayot, Linda J.; Collett, Sydney; Currylow, Andrea; Das, Indraneil; Diagne, Tomas; Ennen, Joshua R.; Forero-Medina, Germán; Frankel, Matthew G.; Fritz, Uwe; García, Gerardo; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Gibbons, Paul M.; Shiping, Gong; Guntoro, Joko; Hofmeyr, Margaretha D.; Iverson, John B.; Kiester, A. Ross; Lau, Michael; Lawson, Dwight P.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Moll, Edward O.; Páez, Vivian P.; Palomo-Ramos, Rosalinda; Platt, Kalyar; Platt, Steven G.; Pritchard, Peter C.H.; Quinn, Hugh R.; Rahman, Shahriar Caesar; Randrianjafizanaka, Soary Tahafe; Schaffer, Jason; Selman, Will; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Sharma, Dionysius S.K.; Haitao, Shi; Singh, Shailendra; Spencer, Ricky; Stannard, Kahleana; Sutcliffe, Sarah; Thomson, Scott; Vogt, Richard C.

In: Chelonian Conservation and Biology, Vol. 17, No. 2, 01.12.2018, p. 135-161.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Global Conservation Status of Turtles and Tortoises (Order Testudines)

AU - Rhodin, Anders G.J.

AU - Stanford, Craig B.

AU - Dijk, Peter Paul Van

AU - Eisemberg, Carla

AU - Luiselli, Luca

AU - Mittermeier, Russell A.

AU - Hudson, Rick

AU - Horne, Brian D.

AU - Goode, Eric V.

AU - Kuchling, Gerald

AU - Walde, Andrew

AU - Baard, Ernst H.W.

AU - Berry, Kristin H.

AU - Bertolero, Albert

AU - Blanck, Torsten E.G.

AU - Bour, Roger

AU - Buhlmann, Kurt A.

AU - Cayot, Linda J.

AU - Collett, Sydney

AU - Currylow, Andrea

AU - Das, Indraneil

AU - Diagne, Tomas

AU - Ennen, Joshua R.

AU - Forero-Medina, Germán

AU - Frankel, Matthew G.

AU - Fritz, Uwe

AU - García, Gerardo

AU - Gibbons, J. Whitfield

AU - Gibbons, Paul M.

AU - Shiping, Gong

AU - Guntoro, Joko

AU - Hofmeyr, Margaretha D.

AU - Iverson, John B.

AU - Kiester, A. Ross

AU - Lau, Michael

AU - Lawson, Dwight P.

AU - Lovich, Jeffrey E.

AU - Moll, Edward O.

AU - Páez, Vivian P.

AU - Palomo-Ramos, Rosalinda

AU - Platt, Kalyar

AU - Platt, Steven G.

AU - Pritchard, Peter C.H.

AU - Quinn, Hugh R.

AU - Rahman, Shahriar Caesar

AU - Randrianjafizanaka, Soary Tahafe

AU - Schaffer, Jason

AU - Selman, Will

AU - Shaffer, H. Bradley

AU - Sharma, Dionysius S.K.

AU - Haitao, Shi

AU - Singh, Shailendra

AU - Spencer, Ricky

AU - Stannard, Kahleana

AU - Sutcliffe, Sarah

AU - Thomson, Scott

AU - Vogt, Richard C.

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - We present a review and analysis of the conservation status and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threat categories of all 360 currently recognized species of extant and recently extinct turtles and tortoises (Order Testudines). Our analysis is based on the 2018 IUCN Red List status of 251 listed species, augmented by provisional Red List assessments by the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) of 109 currently unlisted species of tortoises and freshwater turtles, as well as re-assessments of several outdated IUCN Red List assessments. Of all recognized species of turtles and tortoises, this combined analysis indicates that 20.0% are Critically Endangered (CR), 35.3% are Critically Endangered or Endangered (CR+EN), and 51.9% are Threatened (CR+EN+Vulnerable). Adjusting for the potential threat levels of Data Deficient (DD) species indicates that 56.3% of all data-sufficient species are Threatened. We calculated percentages of imperiled species and modified Average Threat Levels (ATL; ranging from Least Concern = 1 to Extinct = 8) for various taxonomic and geographic groupings. Proportionally more species in the subfamily Geoemydinae (Asian members of the family Geoemydidae) are imperiled (74.2% CR+EN, 79.0% Threatened, 3.89 ATL) compared to other taxonomic groupings, but the families Podocnemididae, Testudinidae, and Trionychidae and the superfamily Chelonioidea (marine turtles of the families Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae) also have high percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (42.9-50.0% CR+EN, 73.8-100.0% Threatened, 3.44-4.06 ATL). The subfamily Rhinoclemmydinae (Neotropical turtles of the family Geoemydidae) and the families Kinosternidae and Pelomedusidae have the lowest percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (0%-7.4% CR+EN, 7.4%-13.3% Threatened, 1.65-1.87 ATL). Turtles from Asia have the highest percentages of imperiled species (75.0% CR+EN, 83.0% Threatened, 3.98 ATL), significantly higher than predicted based on the regional species richness, due to much higher levels of exploitation in that geographic region. The family Testudinidae has the highest ATL (4.06) of all Testudines due to the extinction of several species of giant tortoises from Indian and Pacific Ocean islands since 1500 CE. The family Testudinidae also has an ATL higher than all other larger polytypic families (≥ 5 species) of Reptilia or Amphibia. The order Testudines is, on average, more imperiled than all other larger orders (≥ 20 species) of Reptilia, Amphibia, Mammalia, or Aves, but has percentages of CR+EN and Threatened species and an ATL (2.96) similar to those of Primates and Caudata (salamanders).

AB - We present a review and analysis of the conservation status and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threat categories of all 360 currently recognized species of extant and recently extinct turtles and tortoises (Order Testudines). Our analysis is based on the 2018 IUCN Red List status of 251 listed species, augmented by provisional Red List assessments by the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) of 109 currently unlisted species of tortoises and freshwater turtles, as well as re-assessments of several outdated IUCN Red List assessments. Of all recognized species of turtles and tortoises, this combined analysis indicates that 20.0% are Critically Endangered (CR), 35.3% are Critically Endangered or Endangered (CR+EN), and 51.9% are Threatened (CR+EN+Vulnerable). Adjusting for the potential threat levels of Data Deficient (DD) species indicates that 56.3% of all data-sufficient species are Threatened. We calculated percentages of imperiled species and modified Average Threat Levels (ATL; ranging from Least Concern = 1 to Extinct = 8) for various taxonomic and geographic groupings. Proportionally more species in the subfamily Geoemydinae (Asian members of the family Geoemydidae) are imperiled (74.2% CR+EN, 79.0% Threatened, 3.89 ATL) compared to other taxonomic groupings, but the families Podocnemididae, Testudinidae, and Trionychidae and the superfamily Chelonioidea (marine turtles of the families Cheloniidae and Dermochelyidae) also have high percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (42.9-50.0% CR+EN, 73.8-100.0% Threatened, 3.44-4.06 ATL). The subfamily Rhinoclemmydinae (Neotropical turtles of the family Geoemydidae) and the families Kinosternidae and Pelomedusidae have the lowest percentages of imperiled species and ATLs (0%-7.4% CR+EN, 7.4%-13.3% Threatened, 1.65-1.87 ATL). Turtles from Asia have the highest percentages of imperiled species (75.0% CR+EN, 83.0% Threatened, 3.98 ATL), significantly higher than predicted based on the regional species richness, due to much higher levels of exploitation in that geographic region. The family Testudinidae has the highest ATL (4.06) of all Testudines due to the extinction of several species of giant tortoises from Indian and Pacific Ocean islands since 1500 CE. The family Testudinidae also has an ATL higher than all other larger polytypic families (≥ 5 species) of Reptilia or Amphibia. The order Testudines is, on average, more imperiled than all other larger orders (≥ 20 species) of Reptilia, Amphibia, Mammalia, or Aves, but has percentages of CR+EN and Threatened species and an ATL (2.96) similar to those of Primates and Caudata (salamanders).

KW - Asia

KW - Average Threat Level

KW - chelonians

KW - endangered

KW - extinction

KW - Geoemydinae

KW - imperiled

KW - IUCN Red List

KW - Reptilia

KW - Testudinidae

KW - threatened

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065258953&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2744/CCB-1348.1

DO - 10.2744/CCB-1348.1

M3 - Review article

VL - 17

SP - 135

EP - 161

JO - Chelonian Conservation and Biology

JF - Chelonian Conservation and Biology

SN - 1071-8443

IS - 2

ER -