World Turtle News, 11/08/2017
Damaging Effects Of The Illegal Wildlife Trade Causing Serious Ecological Issues
As the Asian Turtle Crisis continues to ravage chelonian populations, it is astonishingly apparent how extensive the damage has become. Pakistan has reached a serious crisis regarding this illegal wildlife trade. Their ecosystem is suffering greatly as a result of the turtles being removed from their natural habitat. These animals are vital for removing waste and bacteria from the water, and with the rapid decline in their population, Pakistan’s waters are becoming contaminated and filthy. Turtle population studies have been done over the recent years, and in a 2005 survey, it was determined that two species were missing from the 2003 study. From 2009-2012, the Indus River dropped from supporting eight different turtle species, to only a shocking three species. Lissemys punctata is now listed as endangered in Pakistan after a 2015 survey reported that the species was missing. China has a huge demand for turtles since they are used for medicine, jewelry, and also good luck; as a result, they fetch a huge price at markets which continues to drive on the illegal trade. The chief controller of the Sindh wildlife department, Saeed Baloch , says that an action plan will be implemented against these smugglers to stop the disaster forming in their country’s ecosystem.
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Photo from Sana Saif.