Red-Crowned Roof Turtle Assurance Colony Grows in India

by Heather Lowe- 

The TSA India team has been hard at work at the Kukrail Gharial and Turtle Conservation Center. Renovations were completed on two enclosures last month, followed by the modification of an unused adult gharial pond. The pond is six feet deep with a sandy nesting beach, perfect for the turtles which were just released there!

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This facility may soon become known as India’s own Turtle Survival Center and be used as a training center for new TSA staff, vets, wildlife officials and zoo personnel.

Twenty-five sub-adult red-crowned roof turtles (Batagur kachuga) were translocated from the TSA’s headstarting facility in Garhaita. Here at Kukrail, they will boost the assurance colony for this species, bringing the total number housed here to 51. The turtles which were brought here were all hatched as a part the TSA’s nest protection program in 2006.DSC 0110

Prior to being released into their new enclosures, all of the turtles were implanted with an identification tag, measured, weight and photographed. Hopefully, the colony should start breeding within a year or two, further boosting the assurance colony for this critically endangered species.

This project was made possible with support from SOS – Save our Species, the Alan and Pat Koval Foundation and Walter Sedgwick.