The Euphrates softshell turtle, Rafetus euphraticus, is one of the least known species of the Trionychidae. It is found only in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers and their tributaries in Iran, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq. Its range in Iran is limited to Khuzestan Province. In the course of this study (February 2002–June 2005), 16 visits were made to habitats of the species along the Karkheh, Dez, and Karoon rivers and their tributaries in Khuzestan. During these visits 25 specimens were observed and habitat characteristics and threat factors were recorded. Habitat destruction, pollution, and fisheries interactions (intentional killing) are the main threats to the survival of this species in Iran.
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Vol. 7 • No. 2