by Heather Lowe
There is much reason to celebrate in Bangladesh with the recent discovery of TWO additional Sundarbans Batagur, or Northern River Terrapins (Batagur baska). The first was a healthy adult female that was discovered by Rupali Ghosh (TSA) in a private pond. This beautiful female was living on her own in the small village pond, but has since been added to the breeding colony managed at Bhawal National Park, bringing the number of females in that group to six. Here she will be able to contribute to the genetic diversity, and ultimately survival, of this critically endangered species.
The same week, Rupali also recovered another wild caught hatchling, discovered by fishermen. This is the third hatchling found this year – huge news considering that this species was considered to have no wild breeding populations remaining!
Rupali and her team will continue their grassroots work in the area, visiting with fishermen and villagers in an attempt to locate the breeding population and protect the area. If the habitat is suitable, it may represent a potential future release site for this species as the breeding program continues to flourish.
Many kudos to Rupali and our partners in this project: Vienna Zoo, Bangladesh Forest Department, IUCN Bangladesh and SOS – Save Our Species.