Project of the Kerala Forest Department at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) to rehabilitate Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) seized from smugglers has turned into a major success. This makes the CWS the only rehabilitation centre for star tortoises in the country.
Indian Star Tortoise
- Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is a threatened species of tortoise found in dry areas and scrub forest in India and Sri Lanka.
- The main reason for threaten is the exotic pet trade.
- They range from India, extending west to Sindh province (Pakistan), and Sri Lanka.
- Indian star tortoises are considered auspicious for gaining wealth.
- It is the reason why Indian star tortoises, which are protected under the Wildlife Act, are poached and smuggled.
Rehabilitation of tortoises
- CWS is the only place in Kerala where star tortoises are known to occur in the wild.
- Sanctuary is now a haven for at least 450 such tortoises seized from poachers in less than two years.
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS)
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) is located in the Idukki district of Kerala state.
- It is one of twelve wildlife sanctuaries among the protected areas of Kerala.
- The Chinnar and Pambar rivers are the major perennial water resources in the sanctuary.
Source : The Hindu