INDIAN STAR TORTOISE
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Context: Indian star tortoise faces twin challenges of habitat loss and genetic diversity, finds study
- The species is facing twin challenges of a threat to its habitat at one level and loss of its genetic diversity at the other.
- The calls for a proper conservation strategy to combat the fragmented distribution and explicitly recommends intensive genetic screening of founder individuals or isolated adult colonies by implementing scientific breeding
- KINGDOM: Animalia
- PHYLUM: Chordata
- SUBPHYLUM: Vertebrata
- CLASS: Reptilia
- ORDER: Testudines
- SUBORDER: Cryptodira
- SUPERFAMILY: Testudinoidea
- FAMILY: Testudinidae
- GENUS: Geochelone
- SPECIES: Geochelone elegans
- The Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans ) is a threatened tortoise species native to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka where it inhabits dry areas and scrub forest.
- It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2016, as the population is thought to comprise more than 10,000 individuals, but with a declining trend.
- It is threatened by habitat loss and poaching for the illegal wildlife trade.
- It was upgraded to CITES Appendix I in 2019 by full consensus among all member states, giving it the highest level of international protection from commercial trade.
- Conservation group TRAFFIC found 6,040 were seized globally that were intended to be sold in the pet trade.
- LIFE SPAN: 25-80 YRS
- LENGTH: 15-38 CM
- Herbivore, Folivore , Frugivore
- Not a migrant
Map showing the distribution of Geochelone elegans.