GUWAHATI, Sept 1 - Altogether 70 turtle hatchlings bred at the ponds of Ugratara Temple here and Hayagriva Madhav temple at Hajo will be released at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary tomorrow.
The hatchling black softshell and Indian softshell turtles were bred in the two temple ponds and subsequently nurtured at the conservation facility at the Assam State Zoo. It was a joint effort of the Assam forest department, Hayagriva Madhav Temple Management Committee, Ugratara Temple Management, Turtle Survival Alliance and Help Earth.
This wild restocking programme is important to sustain the turtles in the Brahmaputra river system, especially in the case of black softshell turtles that have become extinct in the wild.
�It is a matter of immense joy and pride for us that we are finally releasing 70 turtle hatchlings tomorrow at the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary at 11 am,� a source associated with the programme said.
Assam is the most species-rich state in the country in terms of turtle diversity. It is home to 20 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises out of 29 species found in India. Unfortunately, 70 per cent of these turtle species are on the verge of extinction.