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New tortoise species discovered in Arunachal

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By EMN Updated: Jun 26, 2019 12:13 am
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An undated photo of a new species of tortoise known as ‘Manouria impressa’ that was discovered by a group of researchers in Arunachal Pradesh recently. (Photo Credit: WCS India)

 

Dimapur, June 25 (EMN): India’s total tortoise species count has increased to 29 after a group of researchers have discovered a forest-dwelling, medium-sized tortoise species which is a new record in the country.
A joint expedition of the Arunachal Pradesh Forest department, Help Earth and Turtle Survival Alliance/ Wildlife Conservation Society, India discovered two (male and female) of the Impressed Tortoise (Manouria impressa) this month near Yazali of lower Subansari district in Arunachal Pradesh, a press statement from WCS India informed on Tuesday.”.

This tortoise species inhabits in moist primary forests of the hilly tracts of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot, said the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The latest sighting further raises the status of the country as well as the state in the list of strategic turtle conservation priority areas.

The last reported range of the species was from Gwa in Myanmar, where TSA/WCS is carrying out a conservation breeding of this endangered tortoise for further reintroduction into the wild.

The survey team consisted of Bunty Tao and Dr. Bharat Bhushan Bhatt of Arunachal Forest department, Dr. Shailendra Singh and Arpita Dutta from Turtle Survival Alliance/ Wildlife Conservation Society-India and Dr. Jayaditya Purkayastha from Help Earth.

“This finding emphasizes the importance of conducting extensive herpetofaunal survey in north-eastern India, especially along the border areas,” the survey team said.

The team also said that future surveys will be carried out near the area of occurrence and locations prioritised from interviews with locals from the area.

They also expresses its appreciation for the logistic support provided by the Arunachal Pradesh Forest department.

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By EMN Updated: Jun 26, 2019 12:13:08 am