<p><strong><em>The gallery is part of a <a id="yip4" title="special news series" href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/clean_water_crisis.html">special news series</a> on global water issues.</em></strong></p><p>A red-crowned river turtle ­ seems to smile in the face of uncertainty.</p><p>Habitat loss, hunting, and the pet trade have all eaten away at healthy freshwater turtle populations, leaving many species at risk of extinction, according to a new <a id="l-q-" title="report" href="http://www.conservation.org/learn/biodiversity/species/profiles/turtles/Pages/freshwater_turtles.aspx">report</a> from <a id="u1bv" title="Conservation International" href="http://www.conservation.org/Pages/default.aspx">Conservation International</a>.</p><p>"More than 40 percent of the planet's freshwater turtle species are threatened with extinction—making them among the most threatened groups of animals on the planet," Peter Paul van Dijk, director of Conservation Insternational's Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Program stated in a press release. "Their decline is an indicator that the freshwater ecosystems that millions of people rely on for <a id="e_8z" title="irrigation" href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/food/">irrigation</a>, food, and water are being damaged in a manner that could have dire consequences for people and turtles alike."</p><p>The red-crowned turtle was once found throughout <a id="rjxt" title="India" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/india-guide/">India</a>, <a id="i-8c" title="Bangladesh" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/bangladesh-guide/">Bangladesh</a>, and <a id="jth7" title="Nepal" href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/countries/nepal-guide/">Nepal</a>, but because it has been harvested as food, blocked by dams, and injured by pollution, there is only a single population left, in central India's Chambal River.</p><p>(<a id="d2cg" title="See more photos of aquatic species." href="http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/photos/aquatic-species/">See more photos of aquatic species.</a>)</p><p><em>—Tasha Eichenseher</em></p>

Red-Crowned River Turtle

The gallery is part of a special news series on global water issues.

A red-crowned river turtle ­ seems to smile in the face of uncertainty.

Habitat loss, hunting, and the pet trade have all eaten away at healthy freshwater turtle populations, leaving many species at risk of extinction, according to a new report from Conservation International.

"More than 40 percent of the planet's freshwater turtle species are threatened with extinction—making them among the most threatened groups of animals on the planet," Peter Paul van Dijk, director of Conservation Insternational's Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Program stated in a press release. "Their decline is an indicator that the freshwater ecosystems that millions of people rely on for irrigation, food, and water are being damaged in a manner that could have dire consequences for people and turtles alike."

The red-crowned turtle was once found throughout India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, but because it has been harvested as food, blocked by dams, and injured by pollution, there is only a single population left, in central India's Chambal River.

(See more photos of aquatic species.)

—Tasha Eichenseher

Photograph courtesy Peter Paul van Dijk, Conservation International

Pictures: Turtles Hunted, Traded, Squeezed Out of Their Habitats

Nearly 40 percent of freshwater turtle species are at risk of extinction, some with only a few members left, according to a new report from Conservation International

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