Naijatreks Discovers Rare Turtle Species in Akure, Ondo State

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Naijatreks has announced its discovery of a rare turtle species- not in some far-off exotic location, but in the southwest Nigeria.

Discovered in well hidden granite gnammas (rock pools) on some inselbergs dotting the northern outskirts of Akure in Ondo State, this species of turtle is believed to belong at least to a unique sub-species of the West-African Side-Necked turtle which are found in lakes, rivers and marshes of West Africa from Senegal and Nigeria to the Congo and Zaire (www.theturtlesource.com).

Some foreign observers (Diamond Back Terrapin specialists) suspect that the turtles may even belong to a new species of terrapins.

22-One of the rock pools in which the turtles are subsisting.

In may 2003, when we first found the turtles while exploring some hidden talus caves in the outskirts of Akure, Ondo State capital, we made efforts to inform the State government of the existence of the reptiles in the vicinity as well as the increasing danger they were facing due to the harshness of their habitat and the increasing human encroachment near their habitat, but unfortunately our letters and newspaper publications received no response.


33 Nigerian Tribune, page 21, May 21, 3003. 


Within the past eight years since their discovery, Naijatreks have carefully studied the turtles both in captivity and in their natural habitat in order to understand their behaviors and mode of adaptation; and this have led to a number of interesting discoveries about this wonderful species.

44Weekend Hope, page 20, August 28, 2004. 


Nevertheless, there still remains quite a number of their adaptations yet to be unravelled, such as their aestivation/brumation behaviours in the dry season during which their rock pools get completely dried up leaving only hardened sediments at its base.

The Akure landscape is a picturesque one and is typically an inselberg landscape especially around its northern outskirts.

55– The plastron of the turtle 

– The carapace (shell) of the turtle.

We shall from time to time update you of the various adaptation behaviours of the newly discovered turtles, information about the state of their habitat which is presently highly endangered, as well as the various actions/activities undertaken by Naijatreks in ensuring the quick rescue and effective conservation of this wonderful species of natural wonder.


– Satellite imagery of Akure showing the granite inselbergs on which the turtles are found.

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This article was written by Folarin Kolawole

Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials.   'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at info@naijatreks.com or naijatreks@gmail.com.


joyemi03@yahoo.com' Ajidasile OlayemiJuly 21, 2011 at 3:31 pmReply

Could you please correct the word ‘brumation/aestivation’. I sense you meant ‘estivation’, meaning summer dormancy. Best regards!

NaijatreksJuly 25, 2011 at 11:30 pmReply

@ Olayemi…brumation, aestivation and estivation mean the same thing…you can try doing a quick google on the words…thanks for the note 🙂

Kuperman252@shymail.com' Dora OshoJuly 30, 2011 at 5:11 pmReply
Melia13@gmail.com' Joyce AdeloyeAugust 2, 2011 at 5:54 amReply

Cute Turtle…The govt. has got to do somefin about this

Rohlfs@gmail.com' Felix McCauleyAugust 14, 2011 at 7:20 pmReply

HI Naijatreks…job well done here…now that you’ve discovered these new species, what next?

Folarin KolawoleAugust 18, 2011 at 8:45 amReply

@ Felix…thanks…we are presently working on securing the area for conservation purpose (although there are numerous constraints- human factor) while we’re trying to talk the government into taking action on the issue…it will surely not be an easy fight, but we hope for the best at the end.

Akure Terrapin Habitat is Drying Up! | NàìjáTreksOctober 27, 2011 at 9:47 amReply

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