Advertisement

Hydrobiologia

, Volume 595, Issue 1, pp 593–598 | Cite as

Global diversity of turtles (Chelonii; Reptilia) in freshwater

  • Roger Bour
FRESHWATER ANIMAL DIVERSITY ASSESSMENT

Abstract

The turtles are an evolutionary ancient group of tetrapod vertebrates, and their present-day distribution and diversity reflects the long and complex history of the taxon. Today, about 250 of the total of 320 species recognized are freshwater turtles; most of these inhabit tropical and subtropical zones. Diversity hotspots occur in Southeast North America, regarding Emydidae, and in the Indo-Malayan region, mostly Geoemydidae and Trionychidae. Chelidae are predominantly Neotropical and Australasian, while Pelomedusidae are African. The majority of genus- and species-level taxa are regional or even local endemics. A majority of freshwater turtles are threatened in varying degrees, mostly by habitat modification and collection.

Keywords

Biodiversity Zoogeography Chelonii Review 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I thank Estelle Balian for her patience and support, and Peter Paul van Dijk for his fruitful comments as reviewer.

References

  1. Bonin, F., B. Devaux & A. Dupré, 2006. Turtles of the World. Transl. Pritchard, The Johns Hopkins University Press, P. C. H. Baltimore.Google Scholar
  2. David, P., 1994. Liste des reptiles actuels du monde I. Chelonii. Dumerilia 1: 7–127.Google Scholar
  3. Ernst, C. H. & R. W. Barbour, 1989. Turtles of the world. Washington, Smithsonian Inst. press.Google Scholar
  4. IUCN, 2006. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.iucnredlist.org, downloaded on 6 November 2007.
  5. Iverson, J. B., 1992. Revised Checklist with Distribution Maps of the Turtles of the World. Richmond, Indiana, privately printed.Google Scholar
  6. Pritchard, P. C. H., 1979. Encyclopedia of Turtles. T.F.H. Publications Co., Neptune City, New Jersey.Google Scholar
  7. Spinks, P. Q., H. B. Shaffer, J. B. Iverson & W. P. McCord, 2004. Phylogenetic hypothesis for the turtle family Geoemydidae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 164–182.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Vetter, H., 2005. Terralog, Turtles of the World, Vol. 3. Central and South America. Frankfurt am Main and Rodgau, Chimaira and Aqualog.Google Scholar
  9. Vetter, H. & P. P. van Dijk, 2006. Terralog, Turtles of the World, Vol. 4. East and South Asia. Frankfurt am Main and Rodgau, Chimaira and Aqualog.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Reptiles et Amphibiens, Systématique et EvolutionMuséum national d’Histoire naturelleParisFrance

Personalised recommendations