Jayaditya from Guwahati is attempting to revive the black soft-shell turtle native to the Brahmaputra river and parts of Bangladesh by will using the hatching in the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary he was revived 300 starter so far.
If you know about turtles then you must know that black soft-shell turtle is play a significant role to maintain the whole ecosystem of water land as well as the fertility of the soil. Underwater biodiversity has mainly stabilized by them , improve the health of the soil through borrowing and assess the soil formation process. This soft-shell turtles are found in native to the Brahmaputra River in India and also some parts of Bangladesh.
But in those years these freshwater species are now classified as extinct wild species. And the reason behind it it is mainly human! As they hunt for the meat and other parts of the animal. As well as their religious beliefs that have can find them in the temple ponds of Assam.
Here our hero lands. Herpetologist Jayaditya is attempting to revive the species and in his head his ambition is to upgrade the status of these animals to “critically endangered” by introducing the animals in the wild and during 2016-17 he released 300 such soft-shell turtles into the wildlife Sanctuary.
“I remember that black soft-shell turtles were caught in large numbers through fishnets, and became part of the sea, river, or freshwater resources for consumption. But during research, I learned that they have become rare, or are not found in their natural habitat,” Jayaditya says, “Turtles do not enjoy the same privilege of having an “exotic ‘value” as tigers or rhinos. They are a neglected endangered species, and need saving,” He adds “The tradition links back to the Ahom kings when these turtles were deeply admired and donated to the ponds. The practise continues today — people donate the turtle when a child is born, as it represents long life, or to mark a woman’s menstruation cycle, as it symbolises fertility,”
The main agenda Jayaditya is to conserve and revive the wild population.
The visibility of the animal also created curiosity and a sense of affection among devotees. Soon, a floating bamboo structure was introduced in the pond, allowing more turtles to bask. Some turtles started laying eggs. But only 30 per cent of the eggs hatched, as the conditions were not optimum,”
“To find a solution to this problem, a small dark room with controlled humidity was constructed on the premises. This increased the hatching to 90 per cent. From 10-14 hatchlings earlier, the number grew to hundreds,” he says. Unable to accommodate such a large number of turtles, authorities agreed to keep them outside the temple for survival,”
But now the question is who will tie the bell to the cat in other words jayaditya have to convince the temple administration to renounce their believe which are ancients, so hard to leave. So I did show them the injury marks on those animals the nails which had broken off when the turtle try to attain to climb of the tall concrete structure out of the water and also its skin was damage due to prolonged submergence. Perfume with glitter fortunately the temple administrations gives permission to co-operate and one of the wall was removed to create a slope with some evidence and slowly the turtle started basing out in the sun. “Though they were released in the buffer zone of the wildlife sanctuary, there is no mechanism to track them. There is a need to collar and geo-tag them to understand the ecological and biological behaviour for long term conservation. And all of the above require funds. It is easier to get funds sanctioned to protect an exotic animal,” Jayaditya says, adding that about 30 applications seeking funds to protect the turtles have not received any positive response.
Divisional forest officer at Assam state zoo, Tejas Mariswamy, says that it is important to protect every species in the environment conservation process. “The loss of any species is bound to have implications on the natural balance. The black softshell turtle is declared extinct in the wild, but Jayaditya’s efforts are a big step towards reintroducing them to the wild,” he says.
We truly appreciate his initiative. Lots of love to Jayaditya from us.
Source: The Better India