SPOTTED POND TURTLES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Eco and Env)

News-CRUX-10     11th July 2024        
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Context: A man was found carrying over 100 live, rare, and protected turtles in his bag, including 50 Indian roofed turtles and 45 black spotted pond turtles.

Spotted Pond Turtles

  • Identification: These are named for the yellow or white spots on their black heads, legs, and tails. They have large heads, short snouts, and webbed feet that aid in swimming.
  • Alternate Names: Also known as Black Pond Turtle, Black Spotted Turtle, and Hamilton’s Terrapin.
  • Unique Sound: When retreating into their shells, spotted pond turtles emit a soft croak.
  • Geographic Distribution: Large, deep rivers in India, Assam, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
  • In India: This species is distributed across the north, northeast, and a few parts of central India.
  • Conservation Status

o IUCN Status: Endangered.

o CITES: Appendix I 

o Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I

Indian Roofed Turtle

  • About: It is a species of turtle distinguished by the distinct "roof" at the topmost part of its shell.
  • Distribution: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan.
  • Threats: The main threats to this species include heavy collection for food, traditional medicine, and the pet trade.
  • Conservation Status

o IUCN Status: Vulnerable

o Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I