India's proposal for enhance protection to Leith's softshell turtle adopted at wildlife summit in Panama

Tags: Environment Summits

protection to Leith's softshell turtle

India's proposal for enhancing protection status to Leith's softshell turtle has been adopted at the ongoing world wildlife conference in Panama, the Union Environment Ministry said on 24 November.

Important facts

  • India has strengthened protection to Leith’s Soft-shelled Turtle under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

  • Leith's soft-shelled turtle is a large freshwater soft-shelled turtle that is endemic to peninsular India and is found in rivers and reservoirs.

  • It has been illegally hunted and consumed within India.

  • It has also been illegally traded abroad for the meat and its calypso.

  • The population of this turtle species has been estimated to have declined by 90% over the past 30 years, making the species difficult to find.

  • It is classified as 'critically endangered' by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

  • The species is listed in Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, which protects it from hunting as well as its trade.

  • Placing the listing of this turtle species on CITES Appendix I will ensure that legal international trade in these species does not occur for commercial purposes.

  • The 19th meeting of the COP for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is being held in Panama from 14 to 25 November 2022.

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