Rajasthan Forest Department Plans Turtle Conservation | The Rajasthan forest department is planning will launch a project for conservation of turtles in the state. The department aims to protect rich aquatic biodiversity of the chambal river and preserve all those species which act as natural cleaning agents. Many turtles, being carnivorous, can help scavenging and naturally aid in cleaning the river water.
The proposal has been forwarded to the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC). The department is expecting the approval from the ministry in October 2020. Once the proposal receives a green signal, the project will be set up on (60:40) cost sharing pattern.
Turtle Species planned for Conservation
The primary focus of the turtle conservation project will be protecting nine species of turtle and their nesting sites on Chambal River bank in Sawai Madhopur and Dholpur districts. The species include:
- Red crowned roof turtle (listed as endangered species as per IUCN)
- Three-striped roof turtle (listed as endangered species as per IUCN)
- Crowned river turtle,
- Indian tent turtle,
- Indian roofed turtle,
- Indian narrow-headed soft shell turtle,
- Indian softshell turtle,
- Indian peacock softshell turtle,
- Indian flapshell turtle.
Turtle Conservation Project Proposal
- As per the proposal, the conservation plan will include locating turtle nesting sites in a scientific manner, excavation, and relocation of eggs to the hatchery site. To protect eggs from predators and poaching a net garden fencing will be erected to protect the hatchery.
- For the conservation of turtles (hard shell and soft shell), the department to establish a network of hatcheries at four locations.
- The hatcheries have been proposed at three locations in Dholpur and one at Palighat at Chambal
- As per the initial proposal, while 60% cost will be borne by the state government, the Centre would provide 40% share.
- The project would also generate employment for locals as community participation will be involved for managing turtle hatchery sites, locating and relocating of turtle nests.
- The project is cost effective and one hatchery at site could be developed after spending Rs 2 lakh.
Rajasthan Forest Department Plans Turtle Conservation