Indian Narrow-headed Softshell Turtles Hatch in Lucknow!
We are excited to announce the hatching of 220 Indian Narrow-headed Softshell Turtles (Chitra indica) at the Kukrail Gharial and Turtle Rehabilitation Centre (KGTRC).
Resuming the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department’s Endangered Species
Project’s conservation program for this species, and with the assistance
of our TSA India Program,
eggs were translocated to the KGTRC from two vulnerable nests along the
Yamuna and Ghaghra rivers, respectively. Here, they could incubate
safely and naturally in a sand hatchery.
A habitat specialist,
the first winter is crucial for the survival of newly emerged hatchlings
of this endangered species. To give them a better chance of survival,
the hatchlings are being head started under the care of the Endangered
Species Project at the KGTRC. Here, they will grow in habitats featuring
solar-powered warm, running water, and fed live fish fingerlings. After
being head started to a size of 1000 grams, most of the juveniles will
be released into the Ganga River where the Government of India is
carrying out a rejuvenation initiative. With high hopes, the release of
these turtles will help the wild population rebound there.
Indian Narrow-headed Softshell is a large riverine species growing as
large as 75 inches (192 cm) in shell length, and up to 551 pounds (250
kg). Harvesting for meat, pollution, and destruction of sand bar habitat
has significantly reduced the numbers of this species.
conservation program for the Indian Narrow-headed Softshell is supported
by Namami Gange, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ganga River
Rejuvenation, and with technical support provided by our TSA-India
Photo credits: Arunima Singh and Abu Arshad Khan