The Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska) is a large-sized species of aquatic turtle with an average carapace length of 60cm. They are known to nest on beaches close to river mouths or on river islands. Once abundant in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar) till the 1900s, the Northern River Terrapin is now listed as Critically Endangered by the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Wild terrapin populations precipitously declined due to the … Read More
Gangetic River Dolphin Rescues in the Ganges, Uttar Pradesh
Anthropogenic pressure has adversely affected nature in many ways. Barrages and dams on river systems have restricted the movement of aquatic wildlife such as the Gangetic River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica), Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and freshwater turtles.
Post the monsoon when the river and canal levels are high, Gangetic dolphins often get stranded in the canals connected with major tributaries of the River Ganga. Once they enter a duct, there is no way back since … Read More
Bycatch Mortality and Poaching of Ganges River Dolphins in Malda District, West Bengal
On the morning of November 3, 2019, I witnessed the bycatch mortality of a sub-adult Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica), measuring 2.75′ feet and about 22 kg, in a drift gillnet set for catching fish near Jotkasturi, Panchanandpur, Malda, West Bengal. A Wallago attu catfish was also caught in the gillnet. The fishermen who had landed the dolphin said that it might have got accidentally entangled. Usually, in such cases, fishermen fear penalties being imposed, and are not … Read More
Illegal Turtle Trade at Agartala, Tripura
On my visit to Agartala in the last week of September, 2019, as a member of the jury of the photography competition organized by Pict-O-Real Club, I had a horrific experience. On 28th night, Souvick Mukherjee, one of the members of the club, informed me that in Maharaj Ganj market, one the biggest fish markets in Agartala, different types of turtles were being sold for meat, including species like Indian Softshell turtle and Black Soft-shell Turtle.
To check out the … Read More