Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department,

Government of Uttar Pradesh, India

Shri. Yogi Adityanath

Hon'ble Chief Minister,Uttar Pradesh

Shri. Dara Singh Chauhan

Hon'ble Minister,Forest Department

Reptiles of Dudhwa National Park-2

Gharial basks in midstream islands and sandbanks. A facile swimmer they are clumsy on land propelling themselves with their legs in a sliding movement when coming out to bask. They rarely move far from the riverbank. Gharial feeds on predominantly fish. occasionally takes turtles and other small animals.

Mating in Gharial takes place in the month of January-February and starts at the age of above 12 years. Gharial nests in the month of April and nesting season do not vary by more than 10 days every year. Nests normally are sited in sand on island which assures high incubation success. Incubation period ranges from 72 to 92 days. The young. as in other crocodilians grunt when ready to hatch. Gharials, like other crocodilians show parental care in the form of nest protection. release of young in water and guarding ofhatchling clusters.

Turtles and Tortoises

Fresh water turtles and tortoises belongs to reptile Order Chelonia. Turtles and tortoises are easily recognised from all other animals by their characteristic bony shell. The shell has two parts, the carapace above and plastron below, joined alone the flanks between the fore and hind limbs. The shell has an outer layer of horny shields and an inner layer of bony plates. both regularly arranged. The body within the shell is rigid with the ribs fused to the bony plates, but the parts outside the shell, neck, limbs and tail are free moving. Land and freshwater forms have varying ability to retract these into the shell. Food habits vary. some species being carnivorous, some vegetarian and others omnivorous. The jaws lack teeth but in a few species the horny beak that serves in their place has tooth-like serrations. The sexes are not easily distinguished but the male generally has a longer tail and a concave plastron.

The majority of the species occur in the large river system of the Indo-Gangetic plain, many are semi-terrestrial. All turtles and tortoises bury their eggs in soil or sand for incubation. The eggs may be hard or soft-shelled depending on the species. Clutch size varies from ten to forty. The Chelonians are long lived.

The turtle fauna of India comprises 31 species. 15 speceis of them are found in Uttar Pradesh and all fifteen are found in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. List includes :-

  • Indian Roofed Turtle ( Pungshura tectum)
  • Indian Tent Turtle (Pungshura tentoria circumdata)
  • Indian Tent Turtle (Pungshura tentoriallaviventris)
  • Brown Roofed Turtle (P ungshura smithii)
  • Spotted Pond Turtle (Geocletnys hamiltonii)
  • Crowned River Turtle (Hardella thud ii)
  • Three-striped Roofed Turtle (Kachuga dhongoka)
  • Painted Roofed Turtle(Kachuga Kachuga)
  • Indian Eyed Turtle (Moreni a peters°
  • Indian Black Turtle (Melanochelys try uga)
  • Tricarinate Hill Turtle (Melanochelys tricarinata)
  • Indian Softshell Turtle (Aspideretes gangeticus)
  • Indian Peacock Softshell Turtle (Aspideretes finnan)
  • Indian Flapshell Turtle (Lissemys punctata)
  • Smal I -h eaded Softshell Turtle (Chitra indica)
  • Elongated Tortoise (hidotestudo elongata)