Distribution, relative abundance and commercial trade of tortoises in peninsular Malaysia

Reuben Sharma

This project will conduct the first ever survey on the distribution, population and ecology of three species of wild tortoises in the forests of the lower slopes of the Titiwangsa mountain range, peninsular Malaysia. The tortoise species Asian brown (Manouria emys), Impressed (Manouria impressa) and Elongated (Indotestudo elongata) are all threatened by commercial timber harvesting, agricultural conversion and a live pet trade. The team’s goal is to assess the viability of remaining tortoise populations and compile an action plan for conservation management measures to ensure the continued existence of the tortoises in the wild. These recommendations will be discussed with the department of wildlife and local governments to decide on site-specific follow-up work.