The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), a US-based international organisation, is undertaking a fresh survey of turtle species in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh. The survey will be carried out after a gap of 15 years.
The diversity of turtles and status of their habitats are other crucial subjects that will be an integral part of the survey. The reason for selecting Pilibhit as a survey destination was the presence of 13 species of turtles there, of which seven are enlisted in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act of India.
The studies revealed that as many as 356 species of turtles and tortoises were present globally, of which 29 were present in the Indian wetlands.
Programmes for their protection and proliferation in their breeding grounds were essential for the conservation of biodiversity, as turtles play a crucial role of scavengers in aquatic ecosystem.