Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Behler Turtle Conservation Award


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Species mentioned, Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)

Mains level: NA

Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction.

Behler Turtle Conservation Award

  • The Award is a major annual international award honoring excellence in the field of tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation and biology, and leadership in the chelonian conservation and biology community.
  • It is co-presented by the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) among others.
  • It is widely considered the “Nobel Prize” of turtle conservation and biology.

Citation for the 2021 Award

  • For some species, such as the Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga), Northern River Terrapin (Batagur Baska), and Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) Dr. Singh and his team’s efforts are the last hope for their wild survival in the country.
  • In just 15 years, there are few individuals that have made such monumental contributions to turtle conservation.

Turtles in India

  • The Northern River Terrapin (Batagur Baska) is being conserved at the Sunderbans; the Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) at Chambal; and the Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) at different temples in Assam.
  • These critically endangered turtles are being conserved as a part of TSA India’s research, conservation breeding and education programme in different parts of the country.
  • There are 29 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises in the country.

About Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)

  • The TSA was formed in 2001 as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises.
  • This alliance arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis.

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