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Cuora yunnanensis (BOULENGER, 1906)

IUCN Red List - Cuora yunnanensis - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaGeoemydidae (Geoemydinae), Testudinoidea, Testudines (turtles)
Common NamesE: Yunnan Box Turtle
G: Yunnan-Scharnierschildkröte
Chinese: 云南闭壳龟 
SynonymCyclemys yunnanensis BOULENGER 1906
Cuora yunnanensis SMITH 1931
Cuora yunnanensis — XIANGKUI 1994
Cuora yunnanensis — SCHILDE 2004
Cuora yunnanensis — TTWG 2014
Cuora yunnanensis — TTWG 2021 
DistributionChina (Yunnan Province), elevation > 1800 m.

Type locality: "Yunnan fu" and "Tongchuan fu," Yunnan, China. Terra Typica designata: Tongchuan Fu = Zhongping (Huize)  
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.22.97, 1946.1.22.98, 1946.1.22.99, 1946.1.23.1, 1946.1.23.2 and 1946.1.23.3.; Lectotype (designated by Blanck et al. 2006, Blanck 2005) BMNH 1946.1.22.97. 
CommentElevation: Cuora yunnanensis has only been collected at altitudes over 1800 m.

Conservation: Extremely rare - only a few specimens have been found since its description by BOULENGER. Cuora yunnanensis was known only from 12 museum specimens that were obtained by natural history dealers prior to 1908 in Yunnan, southern China (Parham et al., 2004), and was considered extinct until it reappeared in trade in 2004 (Zhou and Zhao, 2004; Zhou, 2005). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Anonymous 2016. Testudinate China [in both English and Chinese] Testudinate Industry Branch of the China Fishery Association, published on occasion of WCH8; author not explicitly stated, 54 pp.
  • Blanck, T., Protiva, T., Zhou, T., Li, Y., Crow, P., and Tiedemann, R. 2017. New subspecies of Cuora cyclornata (Blanck, McCord & Le, 2006), Cuora trifasciata (Bell, 1825) and Cuora aurocapitata (Luo & Zong, 1988). Sichuan Journal of Zoology 36 (4):368–385
  • Blanck, T., Zhou, T. & W. P. McCord 2006. The Yunnan box turtle, Cuora yunnanensis (BOULENGER 1906); historical background and an update on the morphology, distribution and vulnerabilities of the only known living specimens. SACALIA 13 (4), 2006: 14-35
  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1906. Descriptions of new reptiles from Yunnan. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (7) 17 (102): 567-568. - get paper here
  • Ernst, C.H. 1988. Redescriptions of two Chinese Cuora (Reptilia: Testudines: Emydidae). Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 101 (1): 155-161. - get paper here
  • Ernst, C.H. 1988. Cuora mccordi, a new chines box turtle from Guangxi Province. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 101: 466-470 - get paper here
  • Ernst,C.H. and Barbour,R.W. 1989. Turtles of the World. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. - London
  • Fong, J.J. & Qiao, G.X. 2010. New localities of endangered Chinese turtles from museum specimens and the practical and ethical challenges using and reporting natural history collection data. Zootaxa 2393: 59–68 - get paper here
  • He J.,T. Zhou, Rao D.-Q. & Y.-P. Zhang 2007. Molecular identification and phylogenetic position of Cuora yunnanensis. (in Chinese). Chinese Science Bulletin 52(17): 2085-2088
  • He, Jing; Zhou, Ting; Rao, Ding Qi; Zhang, Ya Ping 2007. Molecular identification and phylogenetic position of Cuora yunnanensis. Chinese Science Bulletin 52 (23): 3305-3309
  • Joseph-Ouni, M. 2003. Profiles of extinction #3 - Yunnan Box Turtle - Cuora yunnanensis. Reptilia (GB) (27): 3 - get paper here
  • Ly, T.; Hoang, H.D. & Stuart, B.L. 2011. Market turtle mystery solved in Vietnam. Biological Conservation
  • Pauler, I. 1980. Die Schildkrötengattung Cuora. Herpetofauna 2 (6): 15-18 - get paper here
  • Schilde, M. 2004. Asiatische Sumpfschildkröten - Die Familie Geoemydidae in Südostasien, China und Japan. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 192 pp. - get paper here
  • Smith, Malcolm A. 1931. The Fauna of British India Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Amphibia Volume I.—Loricata, Testudines. Taylor and Francis, London, 185 pp. - get paper here
  • Spinks, Phillip Q.; Robert C. Thomson, YaPing Zhang, Jing Che, Yonghua Wu, H. Bradley Shaffer 2012. Species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships in the critically endangered Asian box turtle genus Cuora. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63 (3): 656-667 - get paper here
  • TTWG [Peter Paul van Dijk, John B. Iverson, Anders G.J. Rhodin, H. Bradley Shaffer, and Roger Bour] 2014. Turtles of the World, 7th Edition: Annotated Checklist of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution with Maps, and Conservation Status. 000.v7. Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 5, doi:10.3854/crm.5.000.checklist.v7.2014 - get paper here
  • TTWG; Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., Bour, R., Fritz, U., Georges, A., Shaffer, H.B., and van Dijk, P.P. 2021. Turtles of the World: Annotated Checklist and Atlas of Taxonomy, Synonymy, Distribution, and Conservation Status (9th Ed.). In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Stanford, C.B., Goode, E.V., Buhlmann, K.A., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Chelonian Research Monographs 8:1–472. doi:10.3854/crm.8.checklist.atlas.v9.2021. - get paper here
  • Wang K, Lyu ZT, Wang J, Qi S, Che J 2022. Updated Checklist and Zoogeographic Division of the Reptilian Fauna of Yunnan Province, China. Biodiversity Science 30 (4): 21326, 1–31 - get paper here
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • Xiangkui-Y 1994. Fossil and recent turtles of China. Science Press, Beijing. 1994: i-vi, 1-112
  • ZHOU, T. 2005. Discovery of a Living Male Yunnan Box Turtle, Cuora yunnanensis BOULENGER, 1906. (in Chinese). Sichuan Journal of Zoology 24 (3): 345-346 - get paper here
  • Zhou, T., and E. Zhao 2004. On the occurrence of living Cuora yunnanensis since fifty-eight years, and its description [in Chinese]. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 23 (4): 325-326 - get paper here
  • ZHOU, T; P-P Li. 2007. Chelonian species diversity and current status in China. (in Chinese). Sichuan Journal of Zoology 26 (2):463-467 - get paper here
  • Zhou, Ting, William P. McCord, Torsten Blanck and Xiao-feng Sun. 2008. Rediscovery and first breeding of the Yunnan Box Turtle. Reptilia (GB) 59:29-34 - get paper here
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