ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) on Tuesday confiscated 11 freshwater turtles that were on sale in the black market.

The board’s team conducted a raid in PWD Colony after staff received a tip by an anonymous caller.

The confiscated turtles include seven black pond turtles, three Indian roofed turtles and one brown roofed turtle.

The black pond turtle, is the most significant catch by the board’s team as it has been listed as an Appendix-I species in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

Talking to Dawn, IWMB Chairman Dr Anis said: “The black pond turtle is one of the most endangered. It’s trade is illegal across international borders without export and import permits. The status of the black pond turtle is also endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). All freshwater turtles are protected in Pakistan.” All 11 turtles are still babies and will be returned to their original habitat.

“It is sad that these baby turtles have been snatched away from the wild and will now have to be driven all the way back to the Taunsa Barrage, where they are commonly found and also down stream,” Dr Anis added.

These species of turtles continue to be in demand in South Eastern countries and are considered important for medicinal purposes.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020