ANTHROPOGENIC THREATS TO FRESHWATER TURTLES

ANTHROPOGENIC THREATS TO FRESHWATER TURTLES IN UPPER GANGES RIVER WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO INDIAN NARROW HEADED SOFT SHELL TURTLE (CHITRA INDICA)
Ashutosh Tripathi, Dinesh Bhatt* and Navjeevan Dadwal
Avian diversity and Bioacoustics Lab, Department of Zoology and Environmental Science,
Gurukula Kangri University, Haridwar-249404, Uttarakhand, India
[Corresponding author E-mail*: dineshharidwar@gmail.com]
Received: 20-01-2016 Accepted: 08-05-2016

Abstract: 
In India, the turtle populations have declined drastically during the last few decades as a result of direct and indirect human interventions. To assess the possible threats on freshwater turtle, a study was conducted in upper Ganges River during 2008-09 and 2012-14 from Farrukhabad (27°23’56.27″N; 79°37’39.36″E) to Kanpur (26°28’27.32″N; 80°22’27.97″E) within a stretch of 158.46 km. The results of the present study indicate that the main threats to this species were from poaching, fishing and human encroachment such as riverine agriculture and sand mining. Out of 42 predated nests C.indica, the observed predation on natural nest and exploitation by human was 26.19% and 73.80 %, respectively. The assessment of socio-economic stress in the study site revealed that an average of 412 fishing boats, 405 hook nets, and 97 drift nets were found active per year during the study period. Out of 12 species, nine species viz. Nilssonia gangetica, Nilssonia hurum, Chitra indica, Geoclemys hamiltonii, Hardella thurjii, Lissemys punctata, Pangshura tecta, Pangshura tentoria and Pangshura smithii were affected more and exploited due to increasing demand for traditional medicines and delicacy.

Keywords: Ganges River, threats, poaching, fishing, human encroachment, turtle

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