India’s proposal for induction of fresh water turtle Batagur kachuga earned wide support at CoP 19 to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) being held at Panama City
About Red Crowned Roofed Turtle(Batagur Kachuga) :
- It is a freshwater turtle species, and found in deep flowing rivers with terrestrial nesting sites.
- It is native to India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Historically, the species was widespread in the Ganga River, both in India and Bangladesh.
- It also occurs in the Brahmaputra basin. Currently in India, the National Chambal River Gharial Sanctuary is the only area with substantial population of the species.
- Conservation Status:
- IUCN : Critically Endangered
- IWPA : Schedule I
- CITES : Appendix II
- Characteristics: In comparison to their female counterparts, the males are shorter and reach only half their length.
- Major Threats:
- Loss or degradation of habitat due to pollution and large scale development activities like water extraction for human consumption and irrigation and irregular flow from the upstream dams and reservoirs.
- Sand mining and growing of seasonal crops along Ganga River are majorly affecting the sandbars along the river that are used by the species for nesting.
- Drowning by illegal fishing nets.
- Poaching and illegal trade.
- CITES is an international agreement to which States and regional economic integration organizations adhere voluntarily.
- Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties – in other words they have to implement the Convention – it does not take the place of national laws.
- Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party, which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to ensure that CITES is implemented at the national level.
Source : Livemint