Black Softshell Turtle

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Black Softshell Turtle 

Recently with two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Assam Forest Department has signed an agreement, as well as a vision document to raise about 1,000 Black Softshell Turtles together by the year 2030, has been issued.

About Black Softshell Turtle:

  • The scientific name of this turtle is Nilsonia Nigricans. It almost resembles the Indian Peacock Soft-shelled Turtle (Nilsoniaharm).
  • The Peacock soft-shelled tortoise is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
  • About 29 species of freshwater turtles are found in India. Most of these species are found in temple ponds in Northeast India and Bangladesh. Its distribution range also includes the Brahmaputra River and its tributaries.

Conservation status:

  • The Black Softshell Turtle is listed as critically endangered in the IUCN Red List.
  • Also it is kept in CITES: Appendix I list and in India it does not get any kind of legal protection under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Turtle extinction is due to consumption of turtle meat and eggs, sand mining, encroachment of wetlands and change in flood patterns etc.

Sea Turtles of Indian Waters:

  • There are 5 species of turtles found in the aquatic part of India namely Olive Ridley, Green Turtles, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Leatherback.
  • Olive ridley, leatherback and loggerhead are classified as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • The hawksbill turtle is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’, and the green turtle is listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • All these turtles are also protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Schedule I.

Turtle Protection:

Indian Ocean Sea Turtle Agreement (IOSEA):

  • India is a signatory to the Indian Ocean Sea Turtle Agreement (IOSEA), a United Nations-backed initiative of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
  • It creates a conservation framework through which states in the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian region, as well as other relevant states, can work together to save dwindling sea turtle population.


  • It is a digital database comprising 29 species of turtles including the freshwater turtles of India.
  • The app has been developed by Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) with the help of Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India.
  • Also, World Turtle Day is celebrated every year on 23 May for public awareness.

Source – PIB

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