The main threat to this species, like other box turtles, is over-collection for the food and pet trade. The national and international trade in this species is massive, for example, in 1991, 200,000 South Asian box turtles were exported from Sulawesi alone, and hundreds of thousands have been imported into Hong Kong and China over the last decade. Box turtles are particularly susceptible to overexploitation due to their low reproductive rate, which means they cannot breed fast enough to replace those being taken. Exports for the pet trade are not as great as those for food markets, but still thousands have been exported to Western countries, most of them originating from Indonesia. As well as for human consumption and the pet trade, this species is used for decorative ornaments, and as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine (5). For example, they are often released into ponds at Buddhist temples, particularly in Malaysia (6), and their heads and shells are frequently sold as a tonic after childbirth (5). This unsustainable exploitation has heavily impacted on populations of the South Asian box turtle, and numbers are declining in the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, and are thought to be verging on extinction in Lao PDR. Numbers are also likely to be decreasing in other parts of its range, but there is a lack of population status and trend data (5).
South Asian box turtles are additionally threatened by habitat loss and degradation, through extensive deforestation over much of its range, and human relocation programmes in Indonesia. About 61% of the Indonesian human population was moved from Java to Sumatra, and people have also been relocated to Sulawesi. This increase in human populations, and associated infrastructure and development, is likely to have decreased the amount of habitat available for the turtle (5).