Why in News?
- On the occasion of World Turtle Day on May 23, 2022, Pawan Pareek, project officer of the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), said that the number of Batagur turtles that have reached the brink of extinction in the world has increased to 500.
- Pareek said that the Batagur turtles include Sal and Dhor species. Turtles of both species are found in the Chambal river.
- It is worth noting that eight species of turtles are being protected in Chambal river, including Sal, Dhor, Sundari, Morpankhi, Kathwa, Bhootkatha, Sayottar, Pacheda.
- In the year 2008, Turtle Survival Alliance started work on conservation of turtles in Chambal. The Turtle Survival Alliance team collects eggs during the nesting season from the Etawah and Bah ranges and keeps them at the Garhata Turtle Conservation Center. After that the turtles are released from the ghats of both the ranges from where the eggs are collected. According to Pareek, this year 311 were in the nest hatchery.
- The rapid decline in the population of Batagur tortoises has been due to floods, riverside logging, deaths from stealthy mining and fishing nets, and smuggling for meat and fortifying drugs.
- It has been classified in the Critically Endangered category in the IUCN's Red List.
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