Green Defenders

Illegal trading of Assam roofed terrapin


Illegal trading of Assam roofed terrapin

                                                                                                                    By-Prajakta Hushangabadkar

Recently we found Assam roofed terrapin (kachuga sylhetensis) in an aquarium shop.   They sell it openly, they call it Singapore turtle and charge 700-1000 rupee for each turtle.  Amravati, Pune  and Mumbai  are places  where shop keepers  sell it openly.  On the other hand, forest department and wildlife conservation activists are trying hard to protect this species.  Assam roofed terrapin is protected under Indian wildlife protection Act 1972 and comes in schedule 1.

Assam roofed terrapin is literally unknown in the hills of Nagaland , Meghalaya and  Bangladesh which is where it comes from.  These turtles are small in size 180mm shell length, shell is olive-brown above and yellow –orange stripe along back of head and brown spot on head.  They are found in shallow water of river and feed on fish.

In black market they have special value as some people want terrapin with more number of fingers or nails for use of fenshuie,  some time they ask for terrapin with two number head /mouth.  Because of some vague belief in their powers, even orthodox people are now days indulging in illegal trading of Assam roofed terrapin.
We are requesting all wildlife lovers and conservators to try to stop illegal trading of this turtle by informing your nearest forest department.

(photos by Prajakta Hushangabadkar)

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