The wildlife department clarified on Wednesday media reports of a yellow turtle seen near Nindo, Badin.
Conservator wildlife Saeed Akhtar Balouch clarified that the turtle seen in the pictures is an Albino amongst the Lissemys punctuate (Indian flapshell turtle), a freshwater water turtle species found in South Asia.
The Indian flapshell turtle is declared under the Second Schedule of Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972 as a 'protected animal' and is placed in appendix II of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora.
The Indian flapshell turtle is commonly found in Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Burma. Balouch informed that the species in not new to Sindh or Pakistan but due to albinism congenital disorder, characterised by the complete or partial absence of pigment-I in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of tyrosine, a copper-containing enzyme involved in the production of melanin.
The Badin field staff has already been directed to check and report for further scientific investigation of the species from academia and turtle experts.
Unlike humans, other animals have multiple pigments and for these, albinism is considered to be a hereditary condition characterised by the absence of melanin I particulary, in the eyes, skin, hair, scales, feathers or cuticle.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2016.
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