|Date||26 Mar 2015|
At the conjunction of the Himalaya and Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspots, the northeast India supports a remarkable twenty two species of turtles and tortoises making it one of the most diverse turtle faunas in the world. However, the region has been poorly explored scientifically with regard to surveys, conservation and monitoring of turtle fauna. Many species of freshwater turtles have faced declines in population due to habitat loss, poaching and other threats. With turtles fast disappearing, various religious temple ponds have become the last hope of survival for many of these endangered reptile species. As most of the turtles found in Northeast India are threatened, the temple ponds are contributing significantly towards their conservation.
However, the temple pond turtles of this region, including the critically endangered Black softshell turtle are facing serious threats due to habitat unsuitability and lack of proper supplementary food. Till date no efforts have been made to study and protect their population scientifically. There is an urgent necessity to adopt scientific measures for ensuring long-term survival of the turtles in these habitats. Therefore, the present project is an effort to evaluate the status, distribution, habitat quality Assessment and to initiate awareness and capacity building programme for community-based conservation of freshwater turtles in the potential temple ponds of Northeast India.
Read about Chittaranjan's previous project http://www.rufford.org/rsg/projects/chittaranjan_baruah or for more information contact:
Turtles are basking peacefully in a suitable temple pond habitat of turtle.
A male Pangshura tentoria basking at Nagshankar temple pond, Biswanath district, Assam.
Devotees are providing biscuits to turtles in Nagshankar temple pond, Biswanath district, Assam.