Chinese workers illegally hunt and eat rare turtle species in Iran

Photo: Chinese workers illegally hunt and eat rare turtle species in Iran / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

Chinese workers who work in Azadegan oil field, in Iranian southern Khuzestan province illegally hunt and eat Euphrates soft-shell turtles, head of Khuzestan Environmental Protection department, Ahmad Reza Lahijanzadeh said, Mehr news agency reported on Feb. 3.

The Euphrates soft-shell turtle is a species of soft-shell turtle which is found in the basin of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and the Khuzestan Province of Iran. The species is threatened by waterway pollution and habitat destruction. According to the field research in Khuzestan, main threats to this species' survival in that region are habitat destruction, pollution, and killing by fishermen.

As of 2001, 20 of Iran's mammal species and 14 bird species are endangered. Endangered species in Iran include the Baluchistan bear, Asiatic Cheetah, Caspian Seal, Persian fallow deer, Siberian white crane, hawksbill turtle, green turtle, Oxus cobra, Latifi's viper, dugong, Persian leopard, Caspian Sea Wolf, and dolphins.

The Chinese eat turtles-especially soft-shell and snapper species-and use the animals' parts in traditional medicines that are said to boost everything from the immune system to sexual prowess.

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