M Zaheer Khan, Roohi Kanwal, Syed Ali Ghalib, Farina Fatima, Afsheen Zehra, Saima Siddiqui, Ghazala Yasmeen, Amtyaz Safi, Muhammad Usman A Hashmi, Babar Hussain, Muhammad Asif Iqbal, Uzma Manzoor and Ubaid Ullah
Keywords: Sindh, population, distribution, freshwater turtles, threats.
Abstract: There are two families, six genera and eight species of freshwater turtles found in Pakistan, and the same species have also been recorded in Sindh province, six of which are threatened, and all species are listed in CITES Appendices I / II. Family Geoemydidae consists of Hard shelled turtles viz Spotted Pond turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii), Crowned river turtle (Hardella thurjii), Brown roofed turtle (Pangshura smithii), and Indian roofed turtle (Pangshura tectum) and the second Family Trionychidae comprises of Soft shell turtles viz. Indian narrow-headed soft-shell turtle (Chitra indica), Indian soft-shell turtle (Nilssonia gangeticus), Indian peacock soft –shell turtle (Nilssonia hurum) and Indian flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctata). In Sindh province, Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Dadu, Khairpur, Sanghar and Sukkur Districts have been identified as hotspots for freshwater turtle populations. Legally, all freshwater turtles in Sindh have been protected under the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972. Many efforts have been made by the Government, Nongovernmental organizations and Academia for the protection and conservation of turtle population in Pakistan. The World Conservation Union for Nature - IUCN, WWF Pakistan, Sindh Wildlife Department, Zoological Survey of Pakistan and Department of Zoology (Wildlife Section), University of Karachi are contributing in efforts for the conservation of freshwater turtles in Sindh. But still, freshwater turtles are facing serious threats due to habitat destruction, urbanization, developmental projects and illegal trading.
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