Wild Fact #2 – Smiling in the Face of Danger – Red-Crowned River Turtle

Red-Crowned River Turtle

Photo by Peter Paul van Dijk

After looking at the picture above, I had no choice but to put the Red-Crowned River Turtle into the #2 spot. Honestly, look at that face and tell me it doesn’t make you smile. Unfortunately, that smile is removed quite quickly when you realize that these beautiful creatures are listed as “Vulnerable” and will most likely be considered endangered or critically endangered during the next update of the IUCN list. So let’s take a moment to learn more about these freshwater turtles and perhaps look at a few ways we can help save them before it is too late.

Cool Facts About The Red-Crowned River Turtle

  • The Red-Crowned River Turtle can be found throughout freshwater rivers in Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and northern India
  • This amazing turtle was once widespread throughout their distribution range but as a result of human activity it is believed that only one viable population remains in the wild
  • Like all other turtles, the Red-Crowned River Turtle does not have any teeth and as such relies on their incredibly sharp jaws to decimate their vegetative diet


Red-Crowned River Turtle

Photo by Peter Paul van Dijk

The Little Drummer Turtle

During the days when these turtles were abundant, I am willing to bet you would be able to hear faint drumming sounds between April and July. Throughout this time of the year, the males are known for courting their partners by beating their forelimbs against themselves to create a lovely drumming sound. The romance doesn’t stop there though as many individuals have been witnessed to “kiss” in an attempt to see if they are a good fit. I highly doubt this is the same type of kissing that happens in humans but the two turtles will put their mouths together.

That first kiss is always so important…even in turtles.

 Save the Turtles

I mentioned earlier that the Red-Crowned River Turtle was rapidly heading towards extinction. Unfortunately, it is not just them but the entire population of freshwater turtles. Researchers believe that more than 40% of the world’s freshwater turtles are threatened by extinction, which puts this group of animals near the top of the list for the most threatened group of animals (this is not a list you want to be on). This decimation of our freshwater turtle population is a result of poaching, habitat destruction and of course the pet trade.

If you would like to help out the freshwater turtles, such as the amazing Red-Crowned River Turtle, then I highly suggest looking into Conservation International as they are leading the charge to raise awareness and save the freshwater turtles.


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