Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle | WWF

Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle

Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle hatchlings group
© WWF-Chris Greenwood

Key Facts

  • Common Name

    Cantor's Giant Softshell Turtle

  • Scientific Name

    Pelochelys cantorii

  • Status

    IUCN: Endangered; CITES: Appendix II

    IUCN Red List Entry

  • Body Length

    Up to 200cm

  • Weight

    Up to 50kg

  • Did you know?

    Rediscovered in Cambodia only in 2007

Cantor’s giant softshell turtle is easily recognized by its broad head with eyes close to the tip of the snout giving it a frog-like appearance (hence the Khmer-name “Frog Head Turtle”). Cambodia is believed to hold a number of significant populations of this species in river swamps, estuaries, and mudflats in lowland areas. A recent WWF-led survey even confirmed breeding giant softshell turtles along the Mekong mainstream. As with most turtles, this species is under threat because it is easily collected and sold to local and international traders or consumed by hunters.
© David Emmett / CI Cambodia
Adult Cantor's giant softshell turtle along the Mekong central section in northern Cambodia.
© David Emmett / CI Cambodia