Farming Characteristics and the Ecology of Palea steindachneri (Trionychidae) in Vietnam

Olivier Le Duc, Thong Pham Van, Benjamin Leprince, Cedric Bordes, Vinh Luu Quang, Oahn Lo Van, Anh Nguyen Thi Tam, Linh Luong Thi Khanh, Son Pham Ngoc, Luca Luiselli


Breeding turtles in farms for offering them in the food market is a profitable market in Vietnam. Here we study, through structured questionnaires with 73 owners of turtle farms, the social and economic contexts of this business activity. We also collected ecological data for the most intensely bred species, the Wattle-necked softshell turtle, Palea steindachneri. Palea farms were typically small family-owned companies, with just 1 to 4 employees working just 1 – 2 h per day but almost every day in the week, and with 1 to 4 ponds available in the facilities. Sex ratio of farmed turtles was heavily skewed to females in both P. steindachneri and Amyda cartilaginea (the secondly most frequently bred species), and their clutch size was very similar. Inside farms, mating of P. steindachneri occurred in February, egg deposition in March – July with a peak in May, and egg hatching in May – October, with a peak in July. In Vietnam, the typical owner of P. steindachneri farms is a self-made man who had enjoyed very little management and support from government for his/her business.


turtle farms; softshell turtles; ecology; social sciences; Vietnam

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