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47. Ryukyu Leaf Turtle

Geoemyda japonica


The striking Ryukyu leaf turtle is one of two species comprising the genus Geoemyda.

These two small turtle species diverged from all other living organisms around 40 million years ago. This is around the same time our ancestors diverged from the ancestors of modern tamarins, baboons and capuchin monkeys!

The Ryuku leaf turtle is endemic to only three islands in Japan; Okinawajima, Kumejima, and Tokashikijima of the Ryuku Archipelago. This very rare species is under threat from habitat loss across its remaining range.

The status of the Tokashikijima Island population is not well known. Populations on Okinawajima are thought to be in decline and there are only two isolated populations on Kumejima Island.

The Ryuku leaf turtle is one of the National Natural Monuments of Japan, which means trading and captive maintenance is strictly regulated by law. There are no established conservation measures for this species.

  • Order: Testudines
  • Family: Geoemydidae
  • Population: Unknown
  • Trend: unknown

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 5.73 (?)
ED Score: 37.657 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is endemic to the Ryukyu Archipelago, Japan.

Habitat and Ecology

This species is primarily terrestrial, occasionally going into freshwater, and it lives around primary or dense secondary forests.

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