Terms of References Formulation of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Conservation Action Plan 1. Introduction The order Chelonia in Pakistan is represented by eight species of freshwater turtles, and two species of land tortoises1. Turtles are keystone species and contribute to maintaining the integrity of freshwater ecosystems given their role as predators and also as food for other predators. These species play a vital ecological role of scavengers in keeping the waters clean and aquatic habitats healthy. The turtles are facing serious threats to their survival due to unsustainable development, habitat destruction, water shortage, bycatch and illegal wildlife trade. The major of all threats is the wildlife trade that has resulted in heavy exploitation of these species from the wild. About a decade ago, only softshell species of freshwater turtles were on target for illegal trade in the country but now, along with softshell species, hard shell turtles, and land tortoises are also threatened due to this illicit business. The increased danger to turtle diversity in Pakistan demands focused conservation initiatives. There has been lack of focused and targeted approach to address this issue, which is due to the non-availability of a national level conservation action plan. 2. Duration of the Consultancy The maximum duration of the study is 1.5 months (from the signing of the contract) starting from March 01 - April 15, 2015. The consultant will report to the Project Manager, GPAF-CIWC / Senior Programme Manager, WWF-Pakistan. 4. Terms of References for Formulation of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Conservation Action Plan a. Draft the ‘Conservation Action Plan for Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Pakistan’; b. The ‘Conservation Action Plan for Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Pakistan’ should include the following chapters: Chapter 1: Introduction to Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Pakistan This chapter will cover the scientific information available on the presence and distribution of Chelonian diversity in Pakistan. It will also describe accounts of all species in separate annexure. In addition, conservation status of these species will also be added (IUCN Redlist, CITES, National status etc.) Chapter 2: Threats to Survival of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Pakistan General threats to tortoises and freshwater turtles, turtle trade crisis in Asia, and history of turtle trade in Pakistan will constitute this chapter. This should also include field examples, previous studies, research reports, surveys and publications Chapter 3: Conservation Efforts Conservation status of chelonian species in Pakistan, legislations such as wildlife acts, wildlife trade control act, conservation projects and confiscation records will be covered in this chapter. This should include the efforts of Departments, WWF-Pakistan, ZSD, Custom Authorities, Coastal Guards, etc etc Chapter 4: Action Plan for 5 years (2016 – 2021) This chapter will include a detailed conservation action plan based on the recommendations from consultative workshop; financial strategy for next five years, identification of potential conservation organisations for implementation of the conservation action plan; and identification of international partners. 1 Five species of marine turtles also visit coastal waters of the country that will not be covered in this action plan. c. Conduct a national level consultative workshop in order to get the feedback from the provinces and the federal government; d. Consult the IUCN/SSC Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Specialist Group for the review of the drafted action plan. 5. Deliverables A Conservation Action Plan of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Pakistan will be available.