We investigated the distribution and conservation status of Indotestudo forstenii, Leucocephalon yuwonoi, and Cuora amboinensis in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia during 2005–06. Village interviews suggest that I. forstenii and L. yuwonoi are more widely distributed than available records indicate. We verified the occurrence of I. forstenii at five heretofore unreported localities in Central and North Sulawesi, including xeric hills above the Palu Valley and sites adjacent to Lore Lindu National Park, and local villagers reported encounters in Panua Nature Reserve. Sexual size dimorphism was not evident in our sample (n = 103) of I. forstenii. We were unable to locate wild populations of L. yuwonoi, but interview data suggest that this endemic species might occur in Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park and Panua Nature Reserve. Among the L. yuwonoi we measured (n = 150), males were larger than females; large body size may give males an advantage in intraspecific dominance contests. Cuora amboinensis remains common in northern Sulawesi where it occurs in a variety of wetland habitats. Subsistence harvesting of turtles appears minimal in northern Sulawesi owing to a cultural bias against consuming turtle meat. We found little evidence of commercial exploitation of turtles in North Sulawesi and Gorontalo; however, a modest but increasing number of turtles are being harvested in Central Sulawesi to supply local ethnic Chinese, and international pet, food, and medicinal markets. Future conservation efforts should seek to verify the occurrence of endemic chelonians in protected areas and develop management plans to insure the survival of these populations.
Chelonian Conservation and Biology
Vol. 7 • No. 2
Vol. 7 • No. 2