Slaughter of Erymnochelys
by Malagasy fisherman.

Exploitation, Decline, and Extinction
of Erymnochelys madagascariensis:
Implications for Conservation


Dept. of Zoology, University of Western Australia,
Nedlands, WA 6907, Australia

         ABSTRACT:  A survey of populations of Erymnochelys madagascariensis, based on interviews with local fishermen at 46 localities, was conducted in Western Madagascar in 1991 and 1992.  Eleven percent of the populations were considered to be “exploited but relatively good,” 28% “exploited and declining,” 28% “heavily exploited and depleted,” 31% “possibly extirpated” or “extirpated,” and at one locality Erymnochelys may have “never existed.”  Exploitation for human consumption at a local subsistence level is the main reason for the decline of populations.  Erymnochelys and crocodiles are caught in the same habitats, but trade in the turtles is limited and illegal; market prices for Erymnochelys are much lower than for crocodiles and their products.  Conservation action should include education campaigns for fishermen, a captive breeding or rearing program, and the establishment of a protected area.

  Direct Losses to Populations

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