Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tecta) is a freshwater turtle belonging to the family Geoemydidae, found in South Asia. They are one of the smallest species of freshwater turtles in India and have a unique shell design that is convex in shape, with a slightly elevated center. Here is everything you need to know about Indian roofed turtles.
The Indian roofed turtle is small in size, measuring about 15-20 cm in length and weighing around 300-500 grams. The shell of the turtle is brown, black, or olive in color, with a slightly elevated center. They have a long tail, and their feet are webbed, making them good swimmers.
The number of eggs laid by Indian roofed turtles can vary depending on the size and age of the female, as well as other factors such as food availability and environmental conditions. On average, females of this species lay between 4-8 eggs per clutch, with some larger females laying up to 12 eggs in a single clutch.
Habitat and Distribution
Indian roofed turtles are found in the northern and eastern parts of India, mainly in the Brahmaputra and Ganges river basins. They are also found in Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. They prefer to live in freshwater bodies such as rivers, lakes, and ponds with a sandy or muddy bottom.
Indian roofed turtles are omnivorous, feeding on a variety of food items, including insects, small fishes, aquatic plants, and algae. They are known to consume both live and dead prey.
Endangered Status and Conservation Measures
The Indian roofed turtle is categorized as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population is declining due to various factors, including habitat loss, overexploitation for the pet trade, and illegal trade in traditional medicine.
To conserve this species, various measures are being taken. The Indian government has banned the trade of Indian roofed turtles, and they are now protected under the Wildlife Protection Act. The Indian government is also working on various conservation projects to protect the habitats of the Indian roofed turtle. Additionally, various NGOs are working towards raising awareness about the plight of this species and promoting conservation measures.
Places to Spot Indian Roofed Turtles
The best time to spot Indian roofed turtles is during the monsoon season, between June and September, when they come out of the water to lay eggs. Some of the places where you can spot Indian roofed turtles in India include the Brahmaputra River, Ganga River, and Chambal River.
In conclusion, the Indian roofed turtle is a unique and fascinating freshwater turtle found in India. However, it is an endangered species, and urgent conservation measures need to be taken to protect their habitats and prevent their extinction.