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Morphometric studies of the fresh water turtles from Rawalpindi Islambabad Region of Pakistan

Samah Bashir Kayani, Maqsood Anwar, Muhammad Ashfaq, Iftikhar Hussain, Tariq Mahmood

Department of Wildlife Management, PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan

PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Key words: Morphometry, Fresh Water Turtles, Pakistan.


21 Jul 2006, Madagascar --- Radiated Tortoise (Geochelone radiata) close up portrait, vulnerable, Berenty Private Reserve, Madagascar --- Image by © Cyril Ruoso/ JH Editorial/Minden Pictures/Corbis

Freshwater turtles are members of order Testudines in class Reptilia and being scavengers, carnivores as well as herbivores, they play a vital role in aquatic ecosystems. Freshwater turtles are facing illegal trade due to their demaned as food, pets and their use in medicines. Various studies in the last two decades have highlighted that their population is declining in different parts of the world including Pakistan. The present study identified and characterized the Pakistani freshwater turtles found in Rawalpindi – Islamabad area at morphological level and the parameters used for morphometric measurements were; length from muzzle to tail, body weight, body height, length and width of carapace and length and width of plastron. In the present study, 20 specimens belonging to three species of fresh water turtles i.e., Lissemys punctata, Nilssonia gangetica and Pangshura smithii were collected from 13 different sites or transects. Among these three species of freshwater turtles Nilssonia gangetica (Indian Soft Shell Turtle) was biggest and heaviest species with 30.42 cm and 2276 g measurements. While Pangshura smithii was smallest and lightest in weight with 18.08 cm and 510 g measurements. Similarly average carapace lengths were 18.98 cm., 23.17 cm. and 14.84 cm., respectively while the average carapace widths were 17.16 cm., 16.98 cm. and 13.49 cm., respectively; average plastron lengths were 16.80 cm., 16.25 cm. and 11.92 cm., respectively and average plastron widths were 14.67 cm., 13.88 cm. and 10.09 cm., respectively for Lissemys punctata, Nilssonia gangetica and Pangshura smithii.

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