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Important Facts For Prelims

Indian Flapshell Turtles

  • 06 Nov 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, forest officials from Odisha found 40 Indian flapshell turtles in baskets in an alleged smuggling racket.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The Indian flapshell turtle is a freshwater species of turtle and is found in many states.
      • The “flap-shelled” name stems from the presence of femoral flaps located on the plastron. These flaps of skin cover the limbs when they retract into the shell.
      • It is a relatively small soft-shell turtle with a carapace length of up to 350 millimetres.
    • Scientific Name: Lissemys punctata
  • Distribution:
    • They are found in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh (Indus and Ganges drainages), and Myanmar (Irrawaddy and Salween Rivers).
    • They live in the shallow, quiet, often stagnant waters of rivers, streams, marshes, ponds, lakes and irrigation canals, and tanks.
    • These turtles prefer waters with sand or mud bottoms because of their tendency to burrow.
  • Conservation Status:
  • Threats:
    • Turtles are smuggled and killed for their supposed aphrodisiac properties, livestock feed, to make leather from their skins, to make potions from their blood and to use as fishing bait.
    • Turtles are also used for meat and medicines.
  • Steps Taken for Conservation:
    • KURMA App:
      • It has a built-in digital field guide covering 29 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises of India.
      • It was developed by the Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India.
    • World Turtle Day is observed every year on 23rd May.

Source: DTE

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