Asian Giant Tortoises - DTE - 22/12/22

Recently 10 Giant Asian Tortoise were soft released into protected area of Intanki National Park in Nagaland for conservation.
-It comprised of two subspecies: Manouria emys phayrei and Manouria emys emys.
-They are the largest tortoises in mainland Asia.
-It is the only tortoise that lays its eggs above ground in a nest, which the female constructs of leaf litter.

-Evergreen Forest, dry evergreen forest including bamboo forest.
-They are native to South Asia found in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore (Extinct). In India, the Nengpui Wildlife Sanctuary, North Cachar Hills and Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary have wild populations in less disturbed habitats.

->Conservation Status:
-IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered

-Over exploitation and unsustainable use for consumption and trade of meat resulted into species on the verge of being extinct.
-Total 507 live specimens in seven shipments are seized from illegal trade during 2000-2015.
-It is threatened by shrinking habitat availability as lowland and mid-elevation evergreen forests are degraded.

->Conservation Efforts:
-Nagaland and non-profits Turtle Survival Alliance and Wildlife Conservation Society conducted soft release of the juvenile tortoises to rewild the species.
-Soft release: It is a process of gradually releasing captive-raised species into the wild.

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