Indian Star tortoise

Indian Star tortoise

News: A new study on the Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) has found that illegal trade and unscientific translocations are causing major losses to the species' genetic diversity and habitat. 

About:
• Indian star tortoises are found across the Indian subcontinent, more specifically, in the Central and Southern parts of India, in West Pakistan and in Sri Lanka.
• It is typically found in dry, open habitats such as scrub forests, grasslands, and rocky outcroppings.
• The species is facing twin challenges of a threat to its habitat at one level and loss of its genetic diversity at the other. 
• Also, according to the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, 90% of the trade of Star Tortoise occurs as part of the international pet market.

Protection Status:
• IUCN Red List - Vulnerable
• Wild Life Protection Act 1972: Schedule IV (It is list for species that are not endangered. It includes protected species but the penalty for any violation is less compared to the Schedules I and II) 
•  CITES - Appendix I

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