Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata )

Interesting :

It is quite small turtle with weight of 2 kilograms. Its tortoiseshell is moderate high curve. It has totally yellow with slight black dot and some are bright yellow like beeswax so people call it as “Tow –Tien”. It has front legs with big scale at the top and short back legs without fascia but strong nails.

Habitat :

It has been found in India, Burma, Indochina, Malaysia and every part of Thailand. Forest, Shrubland Elongated Tortoises inhabit primarily deciduous forest types (Sal, Dry Dipterocarp, Mixed Deciduous forests) with open, broken canopy allowing sufficient light for a moderate to very dense undergrowth of grasses and herbs; during the dry, leafless season animals may retreat to evergreen stream gallery forest. Records are mostly from hilly areas from low altitude to about 600 m altitude. In the Himalayas it has not been recorded over 500 m (M.F. Ahmed pers. comm. 2018). In Cambodia they are considered predominantly a lowland species in gentle sloping terrain. Local and seasonal movements are modest and seemingly random, tortoises apparently being confined to particular areas by features of habitat and topography (Moll 1989, Das 1991, van Dijk 1998). Indotestudo elongata is primarily crepuscular, with activity in the early morning and late afternoon, avoiding extremely high air temperatures of up to 48°C in the forest in the middle of the day. During periods of inactivity, tortoises retreat into dense vegetation, alongside fallen debris, in buttresses of trees, in caves or burrows. The species appears to have large home ranges (Ihlow et al. 2014), signifying a need for large areas of suitable habitat to be protected. Historically the species has benefited from disturbance of evergreen forest in northern Lao PDR and Viet Nam, as it prefers primarily deciduous forest types (R. Timmins pers comm. 2018). Elongated Tortoises consume a wide diversity of foods, feeding mainly on soft leaves and fruits, while mushrooms, carrion and carnivore scats are eaten when available. (van Dijk 1998). Elongated Tortoises of both sexes reach maturity at about 20 cm carapace length and a weight just over 1 kg, at an estimated age of 10-14 years (van Dijk 1998). Maximum size is usually 30 cm, but exceptional animals reach 35 cm carapace length. Hatchling size is approximately 4-5 cm (S. Schoppe pers. comm. 2018). Females produce one or possibly two clutches of 1-5 eggs towards the end of the rainy season (van Dijk 1998). Generation length is estimated to be a minimum of 30 years, but is likely to be substantially longer.

Food :

It likes to eat many kinds of vegetable including taro, fruit and shell.

Behavior :

It prefers to live in the forest, plateau or mountain which is cold and humidity and also likes climbing.

Current Status :

Critically Endangered Indotestudo elongata is included in CITES Appendix II, allowing international commercial trade in the species provided such trade is not detrimental to the species, and subject to national trade legislation. It is also included in Schedule IV of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 (amended), which lists species that require a small game hunting license to allow collection and local trade; the species may warrant transfer to Schedule I, which would afford stricter protection. In Thailand, the species is protected from exploitation under the WARPA law. Protected under government Decree 32 Group 2B (2006) in Viet Nam. Wildlife conservation act 2010 in Peninsular Malaysia. Wildlife Act 2012 in Bangladesh. It is not effectively protected in Indochina. Indotestudo elongata has been recorded from many protected areas across its range, including: Lawachara National Park in Bangladesh; Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Cardamom Protected Forest, Prey Lang forest, Phnom Nam Lyr Wildlife Sanctuary, and Virachey National Park in Cambodia; Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park, and Simlipal National Park in India; Nakai Plateau Protected Area in Laos; Shwe Settaw Wildlife Sanctuary; Rakhine Yoma Elephant Reserve, and Natma Taung National Park in Myanmar; Sakaerat Biosphere Reserve and Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand; and Cat Tien National Park in Viet Nam. This species is also suspected to exist in the protected foothill forest in the Transboundary Manas Conservation Area (Ahmed and Das 2010). Although it occurs in many protected areas, there is not always effective protection on the ground. This species is the focus of conservation projects at the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) at Kbal Spean, Cambodia and the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. Work at both ACCB and TCC includes the rehabilitation and captive breeding of tortoises confiscated from illegal trade (Ihlow et al. 2016). Safeguarding the integrity of large areas of protected areas including corridors (poaching prevention, management of forest fire, boundary protection) throughout the range of the species is probably the single most important factor to ensure the species’ survival. Commercial trade in the species must be restricted to captive-bred animals, and trade must be monitored carefully. Further status surveys are needed.


CLASS : Reptilia

ORDER : Testudines

FAMILY : Testudinidae

GENUS : Indotestudo

SPECIES : Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata)

Conservation status : Critically Endangered

Reference :

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Update : 11 April 2017