• The species included Indian Tent turtles, Indian Flapshell turtles, Crown River turtles, Black spotted/Pond turtles and Brown Roofed turtles.

Gangetic turtles

  • Gangetic turtles are a protected species and under the red list – a threatened species – of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international conservation agency of flora and fauna. Another international agreement, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), has Indian turtles under Appendix II, which means ‘near threatened’ and ‘control of trade’ requirements.
  • Under the Indian law, Gangetic turtles are protected under Schedule I and II of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • India is one of the world’s turtle hotspots, having 29 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles. The Ganga River in itself is home to 13 of these species.
  • They play a significant role in scavenging dead organic materials, diseased fish, controlling fish population as predators and managing plants and weeds.
  • The present rate of anthropogenic activities and climatic shifts are major drivers of their habitat loss and fragmentation due to dams, reservoirs and barrages. Increasing river pollution and illegal sand mining threaten their nesting habitat.

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