The striped narrow-headed softshell turtle is given national protection in Indonesia under the law on Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and their Ecosystems. This prohibits utilisation of the species in any form, except with special permission for circumstances such as research or captive breeding. In Thailand, this turtle is specifically protected under the Wild Animals Reservation and Protection ACT (WARPA), which controls hunting, trade, possession, import, export and commercial breeding of wildlife (6).
Furthermore, numerous protected areas with important wetland habitat that may contain this species exist in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, where collecting or disturbance of wildlife is prohibited, although its presence in these protected areas is largely unconfirmed. However, enforcement of protection laws and prevention of encroachment into protected areas are often constrained by lack of resources (6).
Captive breeding projects have been established for this turtle in Thailand, but these have been only moderately successful, with the species so far breeding poorly under captive conditions (6). Thus, it has been advocated that the striped narrow-headed softshell turtle, as one of the world’s 25 most endangered turtles, should be upgraded to Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), with prohibitions on hunting for food and the pet trade strictly enforced (2).
Additionally, the formation of protected areas within the striped narrow-headed softshell turtle’s range must continue if there is to be any chance of winning the battle to save this huge, exquisite, Critically Endangered turtle (2).