Red Crowned Roofed Turtle


Batagur kachuga

Common Names:

Bengal roof turtle, Red-crowned roofed rurtle


Red Crowned Roofed Turtle

Kingdom  :   Animalia
Phylum  :    Chordata
Class  :
Order  :
Family  :    Geoemydidae
Genus  :    Batagur
Species  :

Conservation Status:

IUCN :   Critically Endangered
   Schedule I
   Appendix II
   Not listed


The Red-crowned roofed turtle is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Historically, the species was widespread in the Ganga River, both in India and Bangladesh. It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin. Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species, but even this Protected Area and habitat are under threat (Dijk, 2010).


Distribution map of Red Crowned Roofed Turtle (Source:

Characteristics, Habitat and Behaviour:

Red-crowned roofed turtle’s shell can be as long as 56 cm and can weight upto 25 kg. In comparison to their female counterparts, the males are shorter and reach only half their length. Its head is moderate in size and has an obtuse and slightly prominent snout. The carapace of the species is strongly keeled and the plastron is angulated laterally in the young ones.

It is a freshwater turtle species, and found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.Diet of the species consists exclusively of water plants. Adult females lay 11 to 30 eggs in March and April.

Major Threats:

  • Loss or degradation of habitat due to pollution and large scale development activities like water extraction for human consumption and irrigation and iregular flow from the upstream dams and reservoirs.
  • Sand mining and growing of seasonal crops along Ganga River are majorly affecting the sandbars along the river that are used by the species for nesting.
  • Drowning by illegal fishing nets.
  • Poaching and illegal trade.


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Dijk, P.P. (2010). Status of the World's Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles (draft report).

Turtle Survival Alliance blog.