Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Species in news: Indian Tent Turtles


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Indian Tent Turtles

Mains level : Not Much

Indian tent turtle is now listed in Schedule –I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and is thereby provided the highest degree of protection.

Why in news?

  • The Indian tent turtle is threatened due to illegal mining in Narmada River.
  • This turtle has also been widely traded as a pet at aquariums.

Indian Tent Turtles

IUCN status: Least Concerned

  • The Indian tent turtle (Pangshura tentoria) is a species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae. The species is endemic to India and Bangladesh.
  • Its preferred habitats are freshwater rivers and swamps.
  • The species is native to India, Nepal and Bangladesh, with three subspecies recorded from the region viz., P. t. tentoria, P. t. circumdata and P. t. flaviventer.
  • t. tentoria occurs in peninsular India and is recorded from Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Assam and Madhya Pradesh.
  • t. circumdata occurs in the western tributaries of Ganga and the rivers of Gujarat. It is found in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
  • t. flaviventer occurs in the northern tributaries of Ganga and is recorded from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam.

Back2Basics:  Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

  • WPA provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
  • It provides for the protection of a listed species of animals, birds and plants, and also for the establishment of a network of ecologically-important protected areas in the country.
  • It provides for various types of protected areas such as Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks etc.

There are six schedules provided in the WPA for protection of wildlife species which can be concisely summarized as under:

Schedule I: These species need rigorous protection and therefore, the harshest penalties for violation of the law are for species under this Schedule.
Schedule II: Animals under this list are accorded high protection. They cannot be hunted except under threat to human life.
Schedule III & IV: This list is for species that are not endangered. This includes protected species but the penalty for any violation is less compared to the first two schedules.
Schedule V: This schedule contains animals which can be hunted.
Schedule VI: This list contains plants that are forbidden from cultivation.


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