Mobile app KURMA helps save turtles in India
#GS 3 #Conservation of Biodiversity
The Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) in collaboration with the Turtle Survival AllianceIndia and Wildlife Conservation SocietyIndia
Objective: Turtle conservation
How does it work?
- Provides users a database to identify a species and also provides the location of the nearest rescue center for turtles across the country.
- It serves as a digital database, with a builtin digital field guide covering 29 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises of India, and information on turtle identification, distribution, vernacular names, and threats
The threat to Turtle and Tortoise
- Tortoise and freshwater turtles are among the most trafficked in the country.
- A report released in 2019 by TRAFFIC, an international wildlife trade monitoring organization, showed that at least 200 tortoises and freshwater turtles fall prey to illicit poaching and smuggling every week, or 11,000 each year.
- Over 1,11,130 turtles poached or smuggled between September 2009 and September 2019.
- One of the major challenges for freshwater turtle conservation in the country is that wildlife crime prevention agencies are not sufficiently equipped to know how to distinguish one species from the other, or their protected status in accordance with CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and the Wildlife Protection Act