The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), which is enumerating the animal populace in the Ganga, organised an awareness programme to sensitise school children on conserving turtles in the river to mark ‘World Turtle Day’ today. The programme themed ‘Conservation of Turtles of Ganga’ was organised at some schools in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, two key Ganga river basin states. According to a statement issued by the institute, knowledge relating to species of turtles in the Ganga, their threats and conservation strategies was imparted to 200 students and teachers who took part in the programme. “Information dissemination material was distributed to the students. Painting competitions were also organised for the students,” senior WII scientists Ruchi Badola and S A Hussain said the statement.
The WII had in the first phase of its census on Ganga reported presence of several prominent species of turtles, including the three-striped roofed, black pond, crowned river, Indian flapshell, Indian softshell, Indian roofed, Indian tent and brown roofed turtles. The first phase of the survey was conducted between April 14 and April 25 this year. The WII team, which conducted the programme under Namami Gange’s programme’s ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation’ component, comprised project scientists Pariya Dobriyal and Nildari Dasgupta, training coordinator Sangeeta Angom, project associate Deepika Dogra and others.