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5th October 2023 (10 Topics)

Operation “Kachchhap”

Context

Recently, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) conducted a successful operation called “Kachchhap”.

Operation Kachchhap:

  • This operation resulted in the recovery of the 955 live baby turtles, including species like the Indian Tent Turtle, Indian Flapshell Turtle, Crown River Turtle, Black Spotted/Pond Turtle, and Brown Roofed Turtle.
  • The DRI had received intelligence about a syndicate engaged in the illegal trafficking and trading of these turtles, some of which are considered vulnerable or near-threatened species according to the IUCN Red List and are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

About Gangetic Turtles:

  • Indian Gangetic turtle has tube-like snout and incredibly flattened shell.
  • They have a round to oval, smooth upper shell (carapace), which is olive or green in colour with a yellow border.
  • The limbs are also green, while the shell on the underside of the turtle’s body is grey to cream.
  • It has a broad head, with several black stripes running from the centre towards the sides
  • This large softshell inhabits deep rivers, streams, and large canals, lakes and ponds with mud and sand bottoms.
  • They are mostly omnivorous, eating not only mollusks, insects, fish, amphibians, waterfowl and carrion, but aquatic plants as well.

Major Threats:

  • Habitat loss due to the pollution, closure of canals, introduction of dams, tidal barrages, channelization, flood plain drainage and partial threats are the expansion of agriculture.
  • Commercial exploitation due to professional fishing and meat consumption.
  • Reduction of fish stock, as a result of overfishing.

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