The Japanese pond turtle, Mauremys japonica (Family Geoemydidae), is endemic to Japan and is distributed in Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and adjacent small islands. The turtle is found in various freshwater habitats such as swamps, marshes, irrigated rice paddies, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Many of these habitats have been the objects of recent rapid land developments, or under the constant influences of human activities, obviously involving population declines of this species. The overexploitaion by pet dealers and the prevalence of artificially introduced species with similar ecological requirements could be reducing the numbers of this turtle as well. Thus, although the turtle seems still to be relatively abundant in most districts, preservation of its habitats, as well as regulations for the handling of this species and the control of invasive turtles (especially of the red-eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans) should be considered urgently for the conservation of this species. Accumulation of field data for various ecological aspects of the Japanese pond turtle is also strongly desired in order to formulate effective conservation actions.
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