Turtles of Nepal
Turtles are easily recognized from all other animals by their characteristic bony shell. The bony shell is must effective predictor defense. The fresh water species are found in the rivers the pond's marine species are found in the sea and terrestrial species are found on different habits on the land. Their diet consists of a variety of plant and animal species. Some are completely vegetarian, some are carnivorous whereas some are omnivorous. They lack teeth, but many species have serrated saw.
Turtles are believed to live longer than any other vertebrates on the earth and accepted authentic record for longevity is 152 years for a giant tortoise which lived from 1766 yo 1918 in one of the Seychelles Island in the Indian Ocean.
Approximately, 250 species of Turtles being recorded around the world, out of which so far only 17 species have been recorded in Nepal. In Nepal, turtles are found only in the terai regions. The sexes are not easily distinguished in the turtles but the male generally has a longer tail and a concave plastron. They produce eggs, ranging from a single large egg to over 200 relatively small ones. All turtles bury their eggs in soil for incubation.
In Nepal turtles have great religious and cultural values. They are kept in religious shrines by Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims, where they are fed by devotees. Ecologically they perform a role of vultures in the aquatic ecosystem. They help in controlling water weeds, mosquito population which are responsible for spreading malaria and other diseases.
Purposes and habitat degradation have highly threatened the survival of the species in the country. Some species are already vulnerable or even close to extinction. Therefore, conservation awareness among the people, protection of their habitats, complete ban on their illegal hunting and legal farming can help these holy creatures to be inherited to the next generations.
1. Ganges, softshell turtle Aspideretes gangeticus (cuvier,1825)
The species mostly prefers to live in rivers but may also be found in ponds and lakes. It grows upto 94 cm in length and 67 kg in weight. It is listed in CITE's Appendix-1
2. Elongated tortoise Indotestudo elongata(Blyth, 1853)
It is found in the forests and woodlands of siwalik and Terai. It grows up-to 33 cm in length and 3 kg in weight. It lives exclusively on land it groups up to. It is listed in CITES Appendix-II and as endangered in IUCN's Red Data Book.
3. Tricarinate hill turtle melanochelys triacarinata (Bluyth,1856)
It is a terrestrial species and lives in most forests and grasslands of siwaliks. It is 17 cm long and 627 gm in weight. It is listed in CITES Appendix-land as vulnerable in IUCN's Red Data Book.
4. Common roofed turtle Pangshura Tectum (Gray,1831).
It is mostly found in lakes and slow moving water badies. It grows up to 24 cm in length and weight about 1 kg. It is listed in CITES Appendix-I.
1. Subject: a) Ganges Softs hell Turle
b) Elongated Tortoise
c) Tircarinate hill Turtle
d) Common Roofed Turtle
2. Denomination: Rs. 10 each
3. Size: 42.5 mm x 31.5 mm
4. Format: Horizontal
5. Color: Four colors' with phosphor
6. Sheet composition: Twenty stamps per sheet
FIRST DAY COVER SAMPLE
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