Temples and Turtle Conservation | 17 Jun 2019

Conservation program for turtles is being implemented in Assam by involving the network of temples across the State.

  • Species that have disappeared in the wild are bred in Assam’s shrines before being released into the wild.
    • A certain degree of faith attached to turtles along with the involvement of the local community has helped them survive in temple ponds.
    • However, the temple ponds have more turtles than they can sustain and lack egg laying space because of so-called beautification of these ponds with concrete boundary.
  • Besides, temple turtles are fed non-natural food such as bread and wheat balls, which alters their biology.
  • India hosts 28 species of turtles, of which 20 are found in Assam.
  • Major threats are consumption of turtle meat and eggs, silt mining, encroachment of wetlands and changes in flooding patterns.
  • Few important turtle species are: