Cantor\'s Giant Softshell Turtle

Cantor\'s Giant Softshell Turtle

News: A team of conservationists, uncovered the nesting site of Cantor\'s giant softshell turtle on banks of the
Chandragiri River in Kerala.

• It is the 1st breeding site that has been discovered in India.
• Scientific name – Pelochelys cantorii
• Nativity – It is native to the rivers of South and Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and India.
• It is also called Asian giant softshell turtle.
• Habitat – Mainly inland, slow-moving, freshwater rivers, lakes, streams, and estuaries but also extends to coastal areas.
• Features – It is an exceptionally large freshwater turtle, which reach over 1m in length and weigh more than 100 Kgs.
• It has broad head with eyes close to the tip of the snout, a frog-like appearance and so the name ‘Frog Head Turtle’.
• They are primarily carnivores (piscivores) feeding on fish, crustaceans, and mollusks but may also eat some aquatic plants.
• Secretive Nature – Mostly, they lie buried and motionless, with only their eyes and mouth protruding from the sand.
• They surface only twice a day to take a breath and capture their prey by sit-and-wait strategy using an element of surprise.
• Threat – Harvesting by local people for meat, accidental killing and persecution from fishermen when caught in fishing gear, and the destruction of its freshwater and coastal habitats.
• Protection status
• IUCN – Critically Endangered (CR)
• CITES – Appendix II
• Wildlife Protection Act,1972 – Schedule 1  

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