Release of turtle hatchlings
Chambal, Dec 19: The TSA/WCS India Turtle Conservation Project Team is currently experiencing ‘empty nest syndrome’ after releasing 100 Red Crowned Roofed turtle (Batagur kachuga) hatchlings into the Chambal River Sanctuary as part of an annual conservation project.
Once widespread across the Gangetic river system, this Critically Endangered species is now restricted to an ever decreasing population found in the Chambal river. To supplement wild populations, the project team has been conducting a nest protection and head starting programme for over a decade. As part of this programme, these hatchlings were raised at the Chambal field station, until they were big enough to survive predation after which they were released into the wild.
Before the release, every single animal was subjected to a thorough health check up by the team’s resident veterinarian, Dr. Ashish Singh. Assisted by other project members, Ms. Arunima Singh, Ms. Rishika Dubla, Mr. Pawan Pareek, Mr. Shishubhan Bhadauria and Mr. Surendra Kumar Yadav, each animal was also marked with individual external scute notches and Decimal Coded Wires, corresponding to unique identification codes.
Individuals were then released in two batches at confidential sites under the supervision of the Deputy Conservator of Forest (National Chambal Sanctuary Project) Mr. Anand Kumar Srivastava, Range Officer (Etawa) Mr. Sarvesh Kumar Bhadauria and Forester Sureshchandra and supported by the Turtle Conservatin Foundation.
The event was also attended by school children from Garhaita village, who assisted the team in releasing the hatchlings.
The TSA/WCS India Turtle Conservation Programme extends a special thanks to Mr. S K Upadhyay, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests; Mr. Pawan Kumar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) and Mr. Sunil Kumar Awasthi, Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and the entire Uttar Pradesh Forest and Wildlife Department for their continued and unwavering support in the fight to save this species from extinction.