Conservation Actions

Sacalia quadriocellata has been listed on CITES Appendix II since 2013. The primary conservation measure needed for S. quadriocellata (and many other species and their ecosystem) is the creation of secure, adequately managed protected areas with suitable habitat. Surveys to evaluate the status and occurrence of populations can be integrated into broader biodiversity surveys. It is also necessary for enhanced enforcement relating to illegal trade.

Location Information

Sacalia quadriocellata occurs in southern mainland China (Guangdong and Guangxi), Hainan (China), eastern Lao PDR and Viet Nam. It occurs in both the east-flowing Annamite drainages as well as upper reaches of Mekong tributaries in Lao PDR. It ranges as far south in Viet Nam as Khanh Hoa.

Geographic Range


China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Viet Nam

Population Information

Sacalia quadriocellata is likely to remain in small numbers of scattered individuals in most of the remaining areas of suitable habitat, now nominally protected areas, throughout its range in Viet Nam and Lao PDR. They used to be relatively common in many areas around 2000, but price has gone up since about 2012 suggesting increased scarcity and/or demand. Juveniles have been recorded during surveys in Viet Nam (McCormick and Hoang pers. comm. 2018). The Hainan subpopulation is apparently almost completely depleted (Fong pers. com. 2018). Overall it appears that it has declined by 90 per cent range-wide over the past two generations (50 years) due to recently intensified collection on top of habitat degradation and destruction.


Collection intensity for Sacalia quadriocellata has increased in recent years, including the use of electrofishing techniques. Habitat degradation and loss impact the species, in particular damming and hydropower development.

IUCN Red List Account Link

Please click here to see the species' IUCN Red List Account page.