林 務局說，食蛇龜為陸棲性，主要棲息全島淺山地區森林底層及森林邊緣。柴棺龜則為半水棲性，分布全島低海拔靠近山區或丘陵地之水塘、草澤、水庫和溼地。兩者 皆因棲息地被過度開發而破壞，加上近年中國大陸食用、寵物用風盛，造成獵捕、走私壓力大，嚴重威脅族群生存而被列為保育類野生動物名錄。該局指，依《野生 動物保育法》規定，擅自獵捕、買賣、輸出入保育類動物將面臨高5年以下有期徒刑，併料最高150萬元罰款。
Taiwan seizes rare and valuable turtles
Taiwan's Coastguard has seized more than 2,600 protected turtles which were bound for dinner plates in China.Officials say it is the largest smuggling case of its kind they have ever seen.
Coastguards discovered the 2,626 rare turtles, including 1,180 Asian yellow pond turtles and 1,446 yellow-lined box turtles, in a container onboard a vessel in Kaohsiung, a port in the south of Taiwan, on Saturday.
They arrested a man whose surname is Cheng but have declined to provide more details because they say they are chasing the masterminds of the smuggling ring.
Officials say the animals would have been eaten by wealthy Chinese or used as an ingredient for traditional Chinese medicine.
They say it was the biggest seizure in Taiwan of protected turtles.
"After consuming up their own turtles, now they are turning their eyes to Southeast Asia and Taiwan," Lin Kuo-chang, an official in charge of conservation affairs at Taiwan's Council of Agriculture, said.
Because the number of wild turtles is rapidly declining in China, prices there are now five times those in Taiwan, which is separated by a 200-kilometre strait from the Chinese mainland.
"Since the turtles are not seen often in the wild, many people must have been involved in the illegal catching," Professor Wu Sheng-hai, a life science specialist at National Chung Hsing University in Taipei, said.
Both types of turtles are on the second tier of Taiwan's three-category wildlife protection list, meaning they are rare and valuable. The first category is for endangered species.