Seychelles Terrapins

Two subspecies of terrapins in the Pelusios family are currently considered endemics while no sightings have been made in recent years on another third species.

Pelusios is a genus of side necked turtles, found in Africa, Madagascar and the Seychelles. In the Seychelles islands, the genus is represented by two endemic subspecies; Pelusios subniger parietalis and Pelusios castanoides intergularis. A third species, Pelusios seychellensis, is now considered extinct. These species live in freshwater ecosystems, occupying lowland marshes and surrounding areas, and also rivers and streams in the case of P. c. intergularis. Given the vulnerability of both terrapin species in the granitic Seychelles to pollution, drainage of marshes and building development around them, marsh invasion by exotic species and predation by domestic cats and dogs, conservation measures were proposed as part of a “Seychelles Terrapin Action Plan” and include site protection, and reintroduction or introduction to other islands.