Indian Peacock Shell Turtle

Indian peacock softshell turtle (Binomial name- Nilssonia hurum) is a species of turtle found in South Asia, especially in some parts of Bangladesh and India.

Key Points

  • The Indian peacock softshell turtle possesses a large head, downward nose (snout) with a low and oval hard shell of dark olive green to black color, which is sometimes with a yellow rim.
  • The head and limbs of the turtle are of olive green color and there are large yellow or orange spots, especially behind the eyes and around the nose.
  • Male Indian peacock softshell turtle has comparatively longer and thicker tails than females species.
  • This turtle species listed as a “vulnerable species” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
  • This species is categorized under Schedule I, which has been accorded the highest level of protection.
  • In India, the softshell turtle is found in the states of Assam, Mizoram, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.

Indian Peacock Softshell Turtle in Assam

  • Recently, an Indian peacock softshell turtle was found in a fish market in Silchar, Assam, and was later rescued by the state Forest Department. The officials released the turtle in the Barak River.
  • The Indian peacock softshell turtle was spotted by a Professor of Assam University, Sarbani Giri, who bought the turtle from the market and informed the forest department about it.
  • As per the forest department, various awareness programs about rare species will be held in the state to protect it.
  • Out of the 29 total turtle species in India, more than half are found in Assam.

Threat to Indian Peacock Shell Turtle

Killing and hunting of the turtle for human consumption is the greatest threat to it.  Other threats include sand mining, pollution, conversion of water bodies to agricultural land, damming of rivers, etc.