World Turtle Day 2020
Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Environment; Biodiversity
- The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) celebrated World Turtle Day recently in India (23rd May, 2020).
- NMCG and WII are project partners in the ‘Biodiversity Conservation Initiative Phase II’.
Important value additions
World Turtle Day
- It is an annual event which is celebrated since 2000.
- It is organised by the nonprofit Organisation – American Tortoise Rescue (ATR).
- It aims to protect the turtles and tortoises from illegal smuggling, exotic food industry, habitat destruction, global warming and pet trade.
- The theme for the World Turtle Day 2020 is ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’.
Significance of turtles
- They provide habitat for an array of aquatic creatures like barnacles and other small crustaceans.
- They help to transport these species because they undergo long migrations.
- They also act as sort of an umbrella for fish that use them as shelter from predators.
- Turtles play an important role in the river by scavenging dead organic material and diseased fish by controlling the water pollution.
Status of turtles in India
- Five species of Indian turtles along with their IUCN status are as follows:
- Olive Ridley – Vulnerable
- Green turtle – Endangered
- Loggerhead – Vulnerable
- Hawksbill – Critically Endangered
- Leather back – Vulnerable
- They are protected in Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, under Schedule I.
- They are also protected under the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation programme.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
- It is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- It was established in 1982.
- WII carries out wildlife research in areas of study like Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management, etc.
- The institute is based in Dehradun, India.