The Indian star tortoises

News: Indian star tortoises (Geochelone Elegans) have been seized by the Forest officials while being smuggled from Andhra Pradesh to Odisha.

About Indian star tortoise: 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.
The Indian star tortoisesConservation Status:

  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Wild Life Protection Act 1972: Schedule IV

Habitat: Star tortoises come from a wide distribution in India, where they live in semi-desert grasslands and moist deciduous forest. They are also found on sand dunes, in scrub forests, humid jungles and in human-altered habitats.

Characteristics:

  • Indian star tortoise has medium-sized head, hooked beak, and short, thick legs covered with tubercles of various sizes and shapes. Males have a long tail, while females have short and stubby tails. Indian star tortoise is a diurnal animal that is mostly active in the morning and late in the afternoon.
  • Behaviour and Temperament: Indian star tortoises do not like being handled. They can get stressed out and get ill if handled frequently.
  • Food Habits: Star tortoises are herbivores. They need plenty of fresh and dark leafy greens and grasses.

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.

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