Big-headed turtle facts
- This turtle’s head is so big it can’t be withdrawn inside its shell. Instead, the top and sides of its head are covered with a large bony ‘roof’ that acts like armour.
- These turtles have huge jaw muscles which help them break through the crabs’ tough shells.
- These animals were seized from the illegal wildlife trade. They had been important illegally into Canada for the exotic pet trade.
Big-headed turtle baby
Baby big-headed turtle
What do big-headed turtles eat?
Insects, crabs, molluscs and fruit.
Big-headed turtle threats
Illegal wildlife trade and habitat loss. There has been a dramatic increase in the illegal trade of this species with hundreds of individuals being seized annually on the Myanmar / China and Viet Nam / China borders.
Big-headed turtle conservation
We work with the Asian Turtle Program in Vietnam. Together we have screened the genetics and assessed the health and released 300 big headed turtles that were seized from the illegal wildlife trade back into protected areas in northern Vietnam. We have also gained new insights into the trade of this species around two protected areas in Vietnam.