The Indian Eyed Turtle, also known as the Indian Eyed Terrapin, is a species of freshwater turtle found in India and other parts of Southeast Asia. In this article, we will discuss the general features of this species, their habitat, food habits, breeding, number of eggs they give, their conservation status, and where one can go in India to see them.
The Indian Eyed Turtle is a medium-sized freshwater turtle that can grow up to 25 cm in length and weigh up to 2 kg. They have a dark brown or black shell with a distinctive yellow ring around their eyes, which gives them their common name. The plastron, or lower shell, is yellowish or cream-colored. The head and limbs are also dark brown or black in color. The males have longer tails than females.
Habitat and Distribution
The Indian Eyed Turtle is found in the freshwater habitats of India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia. In India, they are mainly found in the eastern and northeastern regions, particularly in the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, and Meghalaya. They prefer slow-moving or stagnant water bodies like ponds, lakes, and small streams with plenty of aquatic vegetation.
The Indian Eyed Turtle is primarily omnivorous, feeding on a variety of food items like aquatic vegetation, fish, snails, insects, and small crustaceans.
The breeding season for Indian Eyed Turtles in India is from November to February. During this time, the females come ashore to lay eggs in the sandy or muddy banks of rivers or ponds. They usually lay 4-7 eggs per clutch, which hatch after 60-70 days of incubation.
The Indian Eyed Turtle is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss, overexploitation for the pet trade, and other anthropogenic activities. The species is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of India, and various conservation measures have been taken to conserve this species in the wild. Some of the steps being taken include habitat restoration, enforcement of wildlife laws, and awareness programs to discourage the trade of these turtles as pets.
Places to See Indian Eyed Turtles
The best places to see Indian Eyed Turtles in India are in the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks of eastern and northeastern India, such as Sundarbans National Park, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, and Manas National Park. The best time to see them is during the breeding season, which is from November to February.