by Heather Lowe
The TSA team is still hard at work in Bangladesh, plying the markets and private ponds in search of the extremely rare Sundarbans river terrapin (Batagur baska). Their efforts were recently rewarded, as they secured another female and two additional males, bringing the total to ten males and three females in the breeding program. Working closely with the CARINAM and the Bangladesh Forest Department, Rupali Ghose is negotiating to acquire another female in the coming days. Creating a viable breeding program is crucial for the conservation of this species, one of the rarest river turtles in Asia.
The turtles in the program are being released into two protected ponds in a National Park near Dhaka. The ponds have been excavated and a sand nesting beach has been constructed with the assistance of officials from the Forest Department. Funding was provided by Pat Koval and WWF Canada.