Why in news?
For the first time ever, the Impressed Tortoise (Manouriaimpressa) has been sighted in India.
- A joint survey team of the Forest Department and two NGOs, Help Earth and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), found a pair of the Impressed Tortoise in Arunachal Pradesh.
- This is the first record of the species from India and makes India the third most turtle-rich country in the world.
- Northeast India was known to be the home of only the Asian Forest Tortoise (ManouriaEmys) until the discovery of the Impressed Tortoise.
- The species has a golden-brown shell and skin and became of its magnificent appearance it’s called the impressed tortoise.
- The male Impressed Tortoise is smaller than the female.
- The species is inhabiting moist primary forest hill tracts of the Indo- Burma hot-spot (Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam).
- It is frugivorous (fungi-eating).
- The last reported range extension of the species was from Gwa, Myanmar.
- TSA is currently carrying out a conservation breeding program for the Impressed Tortoise with hopes of wild reintroduction.
- IUCN status – Critically endangered