Endangered turtles may see a revival
12:00 AM, August 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:00 AM, August 03, 2018

Endangered turtles may see a revival

An endangered species of turtles may see a revival in their numbers following a successful breeding programme in Bhawal National Park in Gazipur.

The Batagur Baska, also known as the Northern river terrapin, was once found in large numbers across Southeast Asia, but their numbers have depleted over the years.

But in the national park, the scenario for the turtles is largely different from the one in the wild, owing to the successful breeding programme.  

There are currently 31 turtles in the park. 

The park's Station Manager A G J Morshed said of those 31, 23 are male and eight are female.

He added that in the wild the turtles were critically endangered, a status also give to them by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The turtle breeding project began in 2010 with the first success coming in 2012.

Currently, three males and four females make up the breeding group.

Under the project, another extension has been set up in Koromjol area in the Sundarbans.

There are around 300 hatchings. During the breeding season, a turtle can lay up to 32 eggs. The temperature shapes their gender, with the turtles becoming reproductive after 20 years.

The males of the species can reach weights of 12 to 13 kg, while the females can reach 25 to 30 kg.

The Batagur Baska live in coastal areas of Bangladesh and India.  They were hunted in large numbers for their meat, and coupled with habitat loss, their population decreased.

Centre for Advanced Research in Natural Resources and Management, an Australian wildlife group, Bangladesh forest department, Nature and life foundation jointly started projected.

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