• search
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

How an expedition to Arunachal Pradesh led to the discovery of a new tortoise species

|

If it were easy it wouldn't be an expedition. A team of Bengaluru-based wildlife researchers embarked on a mission to distant forest in Arunachal Pradesh, confronted hardship and turned lucky when they chanced upon two individuals (a male and a female) of the Impressed Tortoise (Manouria impressa) in Arunachal Pradesh

The discovery is the first record of this tortoise from India, increasing the total number to 29 species of non-marine chelonians and five tortoises in the country.

Image credit: Wildlife Conservation Society – India

This is the elusive medium sized tortoise species which inhabits moist primary forests of the hilly tracts of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot. The latest sighting further raises the status of the country as well as the state in the list of strategic turtle conservation priority areas.

The habitat of the tortoise is humid, moist hill and montane forest up to elevations of at least 1300 metres. However, the species in its home range is threatened by poaching primarily for traditional medicine and pet trade.

This is an elusive medium-sized tortoise species which inhabits moist primary forests of the hilly tracts of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot. The last reported range of the species was from Gwa in Myanmar, where TSA/WCS is carrying out a conservation breeding of this endangered tortoise for further reintroduction into the wild.

Fact check: Are Tigers eating elephants in Corbett National Park?

The survey team consisted of Bunty Tao and Dr Bharat Bhushan Bhatt of Arunachal Forest Department, Dr Shailendra Singh and Arpita Dutta from Turtle Survival Alliance/ Wildlife Conservation Society-India and Dr. Jayaditya Purkayastha from Help Earth.

This finding emphasises the importance of conducting extensive herpetofaunal survey in northeastern India, especially along the border areas. Future surveys will be carried out near the area of occurrence and locations prioritized from interviews with locals from the area, leading to an ecologically viable population of the species in the area.

In India, tortoise is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It is one of the most trafficked tortoise species in the world owing to the unique star-like radiating pattern on their shell.

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more