It is listed on CITES Appendix II and is protected by national legislation in Myanmar, but not in Bangladesh, where it was only recently discovered.
In Bangladesh, it is found in the Sangu Wildlife Sanctuary; in Myanmar it is found in the buffer zones of the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary, and the Kyauk Pan Taung Wildlife Sanctuary. Conservation of this species requires, protection and management of suitable habitat, and management and control of harvest and trade. Research into the species' life history, distribution, threats and conservation needs is desirable.
This species is distributed from Gwa town (Arakan state) in the south of Myanmar to Thanchi, Alikadam, and Nykhyangchori in southeastern Bangladesh. It is generally found under 600 m above sea level.
In Bangladesh Heosemys depressa is not especially uncommon but has a very small distribution. In Myanmar it was previously though to be very rare, but more recent telemetry information suggests that it is more common than previously realised (although still a relatively rare species). Extensive habitat loss in the species range has been responsible for at least an 80% decline in H. depressa within the last three generations and is continuing into the future (Singapore Red List Workshop Participants 2018).
Recent rediscovery of a few specimens in markets in Myanmar and across the border in China confirm the rarity and threatened status of this rarely-seen species. There are very few in international trade; collection for subsistence food by local people (Chin and Rakhine people) is a greater threat to this species. Extensive habitat loss within the range of this species over the past 75 years (roughly three generations) has significantly impacted the population. Shifting cultivation/slash and burn cultivation (Chin people) is a considerable threat to the species as is commercial logging. There is little law enforcement within the remote range of this species.
IUCN Red List Account Link
Roland Wirth (category and featured image)