Lucknow Newsline
October 15, 2005

Kukrail to host international turtle breeding workshop

The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) in coordination with the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) is conducting a workshop at the Kukrail Breeding Centre to evolve a better process of conservation and come out with an action plan for the freshwater turtles and tortoises of India. The worshop will be held from October 17 to 20.

The MCBT is known for successfully breeding one of the world's critically endangered Indian painted roof turtle, Kachuga.

The reasons attributed to the successful breeding included excellent habitat conditions, feed programmes and overall environment around the pond where these hatchlings were bred.

At Lucknow, this is the first of the series of workshops planned under the project. Participants from India and abroad, including biologists who have worked extensively on turtle biology and ecology, forest department staff, researchers and students would participate.

The international participants are Rick Hudson and Dr Hugh Quinn of TSA, Dr Jeff Lang from the University of Minnesota and Dr Peter Van Djik of Conversation International, USA.

The experts will draw an extensive action plan for all the 28 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises found in India.

Senior researchers, biologists and herpetologists from all over the world would be included in the process of preparation of the plan.

The workshop would have sessions on turtle identification, captive breeding and survey techniques. In addition, the West Asian Region Crocodile Specialist Group meeting will also be held.

The MCBT has initiated a ten-year programme for conservation of freshwater turtles and tortoise species, procuring specimens combined with habitat protection and management.

The TSA will also conduct yearly training workshops for frontline departmental staff and researchers.

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