CONSERVATION STRATAGIES OF INDIAN FRESHWATER TURTLES
R. J. RAO *
School of studies in Zoology Jiwaji University Gwalior
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
In recent years there has been growing awareness of the need for positive conservation action for chelonians. Unfortunately, there are still major gaps in our knowledge of the ecology, distribution and status of many of the rarer and endangered species. This makes conservation planning more difficult. In India there is a great variety of Chelonian fauna - 22 species of freshwater turtles, 4 species of tortoises and 5 species of marine turtles. Among the freshwater turtles, the emydid turtles are dominating with 16 species than Trionychid turtles, which represent 6 species. Some Indian turtle species are endangered for clearly defined reasons, while others are feared to be in trouble because of their restricted ranges or habitat specialization. Efforts have to be made to formulate suitable action plan for conservation of turtles in India. All the recommendations made out of the recently concluded Indo-US project should be implemented immediately. The goal to get the right kind of support for turtle conservation is being achieved by creating awareness of the importance of turtle fishery among the public. If the people realize that turtle resources are managed primarily for a common benefit then only would they co-operate in conservation and rationally utilize the turtle resources.
Keywords: conservation of fresh water turtles, utilization of resources