A Study on Sal Forest Tortoise

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Over 90 % of the potential distribution of the Sal Forest tortoise falls outside the current protected area՚s network as per a recent study by ecologists in the Wildlife Institute of India (Dehradun) . Parts of India with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal have been covered in the study.

Study Report

  • In protected areas of the northeast India, the representation of the sal forest tortoise is least.
  • It has been found that within high occurrence fire zones, 29 % of the predicted distribution of the species falls within.
  • In northeast India, the species experience jhum fire.
  • As per the IUCN in the last three generations, the population of the species may have fallen by about 80 % .

Sal Forest Tortoise

  • Also known as the elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) .
  • It is distributed over eastern, northern India and Southeast Asia.

IUCN Red List

Critically Endangered


Appendix II

Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972

Schedule IV


  • Hunted for food.
  • International wildlife trade.
  • Used as decorative masks.

Wildlife Institute of India

  • An autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • It was established in 1982 and is based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
  • Training programs, academic courses along with advisory in wildlife research and management are also offered.

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