The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Bulletin is a quarterly publication in English. It includes full-length papers, natural history notes, book reviews, and other items of general herpetological interest. Emphasis is placed on natural history and conservation as well as captive care that includes breeding, husbandry, veterinary, and behavioural aspects.


pdf 03. Conservation recovery of Batagur kachuga and Batagur dhongoka turtles in India: Development and operation of a head-starting facility

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AUTHORS: SHAILENDRA SINGH, ASHUTOSH TRIPATHI, BRIAN D. HORNE, PAWAN SHANTIPRAKASH PAREEK, SREEPARNA DUTTA & NATHAN HAISLIP

ABSTRACT - In 2006, a long-term conservation project was initiated for the recovery of endangered turtles Batagur kachuga and Batagur dhongoka along the lower Chambal river. This is based on the collection of eggs from the wild, incubation in a riverside hatchery, and then for most hatchlings release back into the wild within 24 hours of hatching. A sub-set of these hatchlings are reared at the Turtle Conservation Centre, in a specially designed head-starting facility until they weigh up to 1 kg, before release into the wild. A detailed description is given of the design, development and operation of the head-starting facility. Up to 2020, the project had successfully head-started 786 B. kachuga and 66 B. dhongoka. Moreover, this head-starting facility has supplied two conservation colonies, consisting of 50 subadult B. kachuga within the species’ historical range, Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre and Kanpur Zoological Park, both under the aegis of the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department. The long-term aim of the project is to retore B. kachuga to its former range.

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