by Heather Lowe 

Turtle Survival Alliance–India along with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department recently released 50 Black Spotted Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) into the Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, one of the many wetlands of Northern India. The turtles were part of a large confiscation effort which resulted in more than 398 Spotted Pond Turtles being returned home in May and June. This historic interstate repatriation was the first of its kind for aquatic turtles in India.

Pond Turtle Release 7.15

Prior to their release at the Bird Sanctuary, the turtles were rehabilitated at the Kukrail Gharial and Turtle Rehabilitation Center (KGTRC) in Lucknow. The KGTRC has become well-known within the conservation community in the region, and the Uttar Pradesh government has been commended for its commitment to conservation and the rehabilitation of rescued wildlife as well as their timely reintroduction.

TSA-India works closely with the Endangered Project of UPFD and has been called on routinely to offer technical support in cases regarding turtles.

The release event of the Spotted Pond Turtles was attended by multiple forest departments as well as government officials- Mr Sanjeev Saran and Sanjay Srivastava- including Dr Peter Clyne from Wildlife Conservation Society.

TSA-India would like to acknowledge the Disney Conservation Fund for supporting this conservation project.

Photo: Pankaj Chaudhary/Turtle Survival Alliance