Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction.
A press statement issued by the headquarters of the Turtle Survival Alliance earlier this week said: “For some species, such as the Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga), Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska), and Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) Dr. Singh and his team’s efforts are the last hope for their wild survival in the country.” The award has been bestowed by several global bodies involved in turtle conservation such as Turtle Survival Alliance, IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Turtle Conservancy, and the Turtle Conservation Fund.
“In just 15 years, there are few individuals that have made such monumental contributions to turtle conservation as Shailendra Singh. He and his team’s efforts now span much of India, impacting well over half of its turtle and tortoise species, many of which are among the most endangered turtles on the planet,” said Rick Hudson, president, Turtle Survival Alliance. “While it may take decades to witness the full impact of Dr. Singh’s commitment, his name and legacy have become synonymous with Indian turtle conservation,” Mr. Hudson added. A report released by international wildlife trade monitoring body TRAFFIC in 2019 revealed that at least 200 individual tortoises and freshwater turtles fall prey to illicit poaching and smuggling every week; 11,000 do so each year; and over 1,11,130 did so between September 2009 and September 2019.
Source : The Hindu