LUISELLI, L. & DIAGNE, T. (2009)

Kinixys erosa (Schweigger 1812) – Forest Hinge-back Tortoise, Serrated Hinge-back Tortoise, Serrated Hinged Tortoise.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(7):084.1–13, doi:10.3854/crm.5.084.erosa.v1.2014, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/.


The Forest Hinge-back Tortoise, Kinixys erosa (Family Testudinidae), is a forest tortoise with considerable range over the continuous Guinea–Congo rainforest region in West and Central Africa. It is a medium-sized to large tortoise, with a carapace length reaching ca. 400 mm, and males larger than females. Tortoises of the genus Kinixys can close themselves entirely within their shells through a unique posterior carapacial hinge. Kinixys erosa inhabits the lowland evergreen forest, marshy areas, and forest galleries growing along rivers and streams, where it is locally threatened by clearance of forest for cultivation and hunting pressure. It has an omnivorous diet, with mushrooms being predominant. Population sizes are strongly depressed in areas where these tortoises are actively hunted by human populations. The main threats for this species include subsistence hunting by local people in desperately poor economic conditions, agricultural and industrial expansion with deforestation, and trade for the pet industry. There is a strong need for more field research on K. erosa ecology, abundance, and status. There are no known conservation actions for this species; however, there is a need to establish protected areas that include viable populations of these tortoises through their natural range.

Distribution. – Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo–DRC), Congo (Republic of Congo–ROC), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire), Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda. Widely distributed along coastal forested West Africa from Sierra Leone and Guinea through the Congo Basin of central Africa to northern Angola.

Synonymy.Testudo erosa Schweigger 1812, Kinixys erosa, Cinixys erosa, Kinixys belliana erosa, Testudo schoepfii Fitzinger 1826 (nomen nudum), Kinixys castanea Bell 1827, Cinixys (Cinixys) castanea, Cinixys castanea.

Subspecies. – None recognized.

Status. – IUCN 2014 Red List: Data Deficient (DD, assessed 1996); TFTSG Draft Red List: Endangered (EN, assessed 2013); CITES: Appendix II, as Testudinidae spp.

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