Why in News:
Indian star tortoises have been seized by the Forest officials while being smuggled from Andhra Pradesh to Odisha.
- Indian star tortoise (Geochelone Elegans): It is a species of tortoise found in dry areas and scrub forests of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is accustomed to monsoon seasons.
- These tortoises are easily recognizable by their star-patterned shells.
- IUCN Status: Vulnerable
- Wild Life Protection Act 1972: Schedule IV
- CITES: Appendix I
- Threats: It is the single most confiscated species of freshwater tortoise in the world. It faces threats such as loss of habitat to agriculture and illegal harvesting for the pet trade.