World Turtle Day | UPSC

World Turtle Day UPSC

World Turtle Day

      HEADLINES:

On World Turtle Day, Jal Shakti Minister gives clarion call to save aquatic animals

      WHY IN NEWS:

“Biodiversity is an essential part of Indian Culture”: Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Jal Shakti
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Conservation of Biodiversity

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to learn why we are celebrating such events . What are the new conservation policies  ?

For MAINS go through the flaws in conservation policies and the mitigation part !

      ISSUE: 

In his special message to the team on World Turtle Day, Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, “Biodiversity is an essential part of Indian Culture and in fact, understanding the importance of Turtles, they have been worshipped in our culture from time immemorial’.

World Turtle Day was founded by the American Tortoise Rescue (ATR), a non-profit organization committed to the protection of all turtles and tortoise alike. In 2002, the rescue announced World Turtle Day to fall on May 23rd annually. 

LET US TALK ABOUT CONSERVATION :

KURMA MOBILE

Kurma mobile application lets users collate, exchange data on turtles  

MORE ABOUT KURMA MOBILE APP :

  • This special turtle-tracking app will help in accurately identifying species and help in reporting turtle sightings, apart from enlisting the help of experts and local help centres.
  • India has a rich turtle biodiversity.

Unsustainable harvesting, illegal trade and habitat degradation, however, threaten turtles across the country.

  • Only a few conservationists across the country work on turtle conservation, to make matters worse.

INVOLVING CITIZENS:

  • A group of leading conservation agencies have come together to launch the citizen-science initiative, named the Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN).
  • This provides a platform for the exchange of vital information on turtles, promises to engage the general public in ground data collection and provide assistance to enforcement agencies / forest departments.
  • Thus, ITCAN can lead to potential conservation success stories through its tool, the Kurma app.
  • ITCAN will also help in observing 2020 as the year of the turtle, celebrated across the world by conservation agencies and zoos interested in turtle conservation.

Indian eyed turtle

 

  •  The power of the internet and technology has to be realised as several people now have access to smart phones.
  • “If somewhere a black softshell turtle is sold, someone can circulate this information in the app. This will help us in informing enforcement agencies,”

CONSERVATION IN TIMES OF COVID-19

  • Volunteers and coordinators will be deputed for rescue and identification in each state.
  • Forest departments need more eyes and ears; 17 out of 29 freshwater turtle and tortoise species were endangered.
  • “The app, which is free, will contain a lot of valuable information.
  • Freshwater turtles were gradually becoming neglected as marine turtles got more attention.

CHALLENGES :

  • There was more work done on marine turtles than freshwater turtles across the world.

  One of the major challenges was understanding distribution of turtles across India.

  • “The app will help in understanding the distribution of various turtle species across the country,” .
  • The idea was to involve more people as conservationists cannot just work with enforcement agencies.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

“We need scientific information for management of different species. This is usually collected by biologists and conservationists on a limited scale. So, by involving citizens, we can add to the volume of information over both time and space”.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

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