Conservation breeding of Northern River Terrapin Batagur baska (Gray, 1830) in Sundarban Tiger Reserve, India

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Nillanjan Mallick
Shailendra Singh
Dibyadeep Chatterjee
Souritra Sharma


The population of Northern River Terrapin Batagur baska is ‘Critically Endangered’ and threatened with extinction.  In India, the species was once known to occur in the mangroves of West Bengal and Odisha.  The sub-population in Odisha is suspected to have been wiped out.  The Sundarban Tiger Reserve and the Turtle Survival Alliance launched a modest conservation breeding program in 2012 to recover the species using a small number of adults as founders.  Gravid adult females are kept in a dedicated breeding enclosure with minimal disturbance, eggs are incubated outdoor on an artificial nesting beach, and hatchlings are raised to develop assurance colonies for purposes of reintroduction in future.  Currently, the project holds 12 adults and over 350 juveniles of various size classes.  Three additional assurance colonies were developed for 70 sub-adults from 2012–13 batches, using rain-fed ponds within STR. 

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