IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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The Indian peacock softshell turtle, Nilssonia hurum (Family Trionychidae), is a relatively abundant large riverine species that is found in rivers and reservoirs. The species attains a rather large size (carapace length to 60 cm). It is distributed over eastern Pakistan, northern and central India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The species is primarily nocturnal and omnivorous, juveniles observed feeding on mosquito larvae and fish, while adults consume snails, earthworms, prawns, fish, frogs, carrion, and vegetation. Animals maintained in captivity are known to eat rice and palm sugar sweetmeats. Courtship takes place underwater, and spherical, brittle-shelled, eggs in clutches numbering 20–30 are produced between August to November; hatching takes place between June–July of the following year. The species is heavily exploited for its meat and calipee (the outer cartilaginous rim of the shell) throughout northern and eastern India and Bangladesh. The intensity of exploitation to which it is subject suggests that both some kind of quota or closed season system, as well as protection of nesting areas, are necessary.


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© IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Source: IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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