Mauremys rivulata 

Scope: Europe
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Testudines Geoemydidae

Scientific Name: Mauremys rivulata (Valenciennes in Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1833)
Common Name(s):
English Western Caspian Turtle, Balkan Terrapin
Emys rivulata Valenciennes in Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1833
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon is widely treated as a subspecies of Mauremys caspica, but has most recently been considered a full species (see discussion by Fritz (2001)).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-12-17
Needs updating
Assessor(s): van Dijk, P.P., Lymberakis, P., Ahmed Mohammed Mousa Disi, Ajtic, R., Tok, V., Ugurtas, I., Sevinç, M. & Haxhiu, I.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Temple, H.J.
Regionally listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

This draft regional assessment is based on draft information gathered at the IUCN Mediterranean Red Listing Workshop - Freshwater Fishes, Reptiles and Amphibians (Malaga [Spain] 13-17 December 2004) and remains under current review by the IUCN-SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group - please contact Peter Paul van Dijk with any comments.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species ranges frrom coastal Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania, through most of Greece (including many Aegean and Ionian islands), southeastern Macedonia and southern Bulgaria, to the Marmara Sea region, and widely through the Mediterranean regions and river basins of Turkey to western Syria, Lebanon, northwestern Jordan and northern and central Israel. Among the Mediterranean islands it occurs on are Cyprus, Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu (Wischuf and Busack 2001, Iverson 1992, Gasperetti et al. 1993). It is found from sea level up to 900 m asl. The Tigris-Euphrates-basin waterbodies in Turkey are inhabited by M. caspica.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Greece; Israel; Jordan; Lebanon; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Serbia; Syrian Arab Republic; Turkey
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):900
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This is possibly the freshwater turtle occurring at the highest densities reported, with 19-217 animals per hectare in unpolluted habitats, and over 500 to 2,000+ animals per hectare of eutrophied wetland (Wischuf and Busack 2001:102).

The marginal Bulgarian population, small at about 1,000 animals, appears to have remained stable (Beshkov 1987, in Wischuf and Busack 2001:102). Marginal populations at the edge of the species range and those on small islands are considered are the ones most at risk.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It inhabits slow-moving and standing freshwater bodies, permanent and temporary, usually with muddy bottom and dense aquatic vegetation. The species has also been recorded from swamps and marshes and from fast flowing rivers. It can tolerate saline and polluted conditions, and can take advantage of certain human habitat alterations (irrigation canals, ditches, water storage ponds, etc.) (Wischuf and Busack 2001: 99, 102). Females may produce two clutches of four to nine (exceptionally 12) eggs per year. The age at maturity has apparently not been recorded.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Populations in Turkey have been noted to be impacted by agricultural pesticides and habitat alteration relating to tourism development (Atatur 1995). Drainage of wetlands would be a locally significant impact on populations, but is unlikely to endanger the species as a whole. In Greece, there have been a number of extinctions and declines of island populations, often through the destruction of freshwater habitats (e.g., Paros Island). It is additionally threatened by the overuse and pollution of freshwater habitats, especially temporary freshwaters (e.g., Cyprus). Competition with the introduced Trachemys scripta has been suggested as a possible threat in parts of its range (e.g., Crete). It is considered to be overcollected for the pet trade in Turkey, and it is threatened in Jordan by pesticide use. There are likely to be an increasing number of threats to this species with increasing water demands in the region.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific conservation action appears to be required, though confirmation of the occurrence in securely protected areas would be desirable, as would studies of status and conservation biology. It is present in many protected areas (such as Tyr Beach and the Ammiq Marshes of Lebanon). There is a need to initiate legislation in Turkey to protect this species from collection in the wild for the international pet trade. It is protected by national legislation in Israel.

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.4. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.2. Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.3. Artificial/Aquatic - Aquaculture Ponds
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.6. Artificial/Aquatic - Wastewater Treatment Areas
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.7. Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels)
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.9. Artificial/Aquatic - Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

0. Root -> 100.2. OLD 3-Research actions
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Atatur, M.K. 1995. A preliminary report on the present status of Turkey's terrestrial and fresh-water turtles from the viewpoint of conservation. In: Ballasina, Donato (ed.), Red Data Book on Mediterranean Chelonians, pp. 183-190. Edagricole, Bologna, Italy.

Disi, A.M. 2002. Jordan Country Study on Biological Diversity: The Herpetofauna of Jordan. Amman, Jordan.

Dolev, A. and Perevelotsky, A. (eds). 2002. Red Book of Threatened Species in Israel – Vertebrates. Nature and Parks Authority and the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Jerusalem.

Fritz, U. 2001a. Mauremys Gray, 1870 - Bachschildkroeten. In: Fritz, Uwe (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas [Band 3/IIIa] - Schildkroten (Testudines) I, pp. 35-41. Aula Verlag, Wiebelsheim, Germany.

Hraoui-Bloquet, S., Sadek, R.A., Sindaco, R. and Venchi, A. 2002. The herpetofauna of Lebanon: new data on distribution. Zoology in the Middle East 27: 35-46.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2004).

Iverson, J.B. 1992. A Revised Checklist with Distribution Maps of the Turtles of the World. privately published, Richmond, Indiana.

Wischuf, T. and Busack, S.D. 2001. Mauremys rivulata (Valenciennes in Bory de Saint Vincent et al., 1833)- Ostmediterrane Bachschildkroete. In: Fritz, Uwe (ed.), Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas [Band 3/IIIa] - Schildkroten (Testudines) I, pp. 89-110. Aula Verlag, Wiebelsheim, Germany.

Citation: van Dijk, P.P., Lymberakis, P., Ahmed Mohammed Mousa Disi, Ajtic, R., Tok, V., Ugurtas, I., Sevinç, M. & Haxhiu, I. 2004. Mauremys rivulata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T158470A5200041. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided