IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


27th May, 2022 Environment

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  • Devotees of Thoroth Addukath Bhagavathi Temple in Kerala’s Kasaragod are protecting and conserving tortoises in the naturally formed pond spread over two acres of temple land.

About the Temple at Molothumkavu

  • The devotees of the temple believe that offering rice (nivedya chor) to tortoises will redeem them of their sins and cure their skin-related ailments.
  • The temple is several centuries old and it is believed that the custom of offering prayers to the tortoises is as old as the temple.
  • Considered sacred, the temple authorities and local people act as guardians of the tortoises, some of which are believed to be over 100 years old.
  • Such practice reflects the need to conserve tortoises in India.

Indian Star Tortoise

  • Indian star tortoise is found across the Indian sub-continent, more specifically, in the Central and Southern parts of India, West Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • It is listed in Schedule IV of the Wild Life Protection Act 1972.
  • Appendix I in Convention on International Trade in Species (CITES)
  • Vulnerable species as per IUCN Status
  • The species faces two threats- loss of habitat to agriculture and illegal harvesting for the pet trade.