Black pond turtle

The pond turtle, also known as the black pond turtle, is a species of freshwater turtle native to North America. It is a medium-sized turtle, typically measuring between 4 and 8 inches in length and weighing between 1 and 2 pounds. The pond turtle is characterized by its dark, brownish-black shell and its yellow or brownish-yellow stripes along its body.

The pond turtle is a popular pet and is often seen in ponds, lakes, and streams. It is a carnivorous species, feeding on aquatic invertebrates, fish, and amphibians. They are active during the day, and prefer to stay in shallow water to bask in the sun.

General Features

The Black Pond Turtle is typically around 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 inches) in length and can weigh between 1 to 1.5 kilograms (2.2 to 3.3 pounds). They are usually black or dark brown in color, with a smooth shell and a distinctive knob at the back of their head.

Habitat and Distribution

The Black Pond Turtle is found throughout the Indian subcontinent, from the foothills of the Himalayas in the north to the Western Ghats in the south. They are primarily found in freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. These turtles prefer still or slow-moving water, and they often bask in the sun on rocks or logs near the water’s edge. They can also be seen in old wells, temple ponds and private properties water bodies as they make it their home. 

Food Habits

The Black Pond Turtle is primarily an herbivore, feeding on aquatic plants, fruits, and berries. They may also eat insects, small fish, and other small aquatic animals. 

Breeding and Reproduction

Black Pond Turtles reach sexual maturity at around 6 to 8 years of age. They breed during the monsoon season, which typically falls between June and September. Female turtles lay clutches of 3 to 5 eggs in sandy soil near the water’s edge. Incubation time is around 60 to 90 days, depending on the temperature.

Conservation Status

The Black Pond Turtle is currently classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This species is threatened by habitat loss due to the destruction of wetlands and pollution of water sources. Additionally, the species is hunted for its meat and eggs, and is also collected for the pet trade.

Steps Being Taken to Save Them

Various conservation initiatives are being taken to protect the Black Pond Turtle. In India, the species is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides strict legal protection against hunting, trade, and other activities. Several conservation organizations are working to protect the Black Pond Turtle and its habitat, including the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Where to See Them

The Black Pond Turtle can be found in various locations throughout India, including the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha. Some popular locations for observing this species include the National Chambal Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, the Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal, and the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha.

The best time to see Black Pond Turtles is during the monsoon season, when they are most active and breeding. However, they can also be seen during the dry season, particularly in the early morning or late afternoon when they are basking in the sun.

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