“Black Softshell Turtle” – Pact Signed for Conservation in Assam

What is the News? The Hayagriva Madhava Temple Committee in Assam has signed an MoU with Turtle Survival Alliance India, Help Earth, and Assam Forests Department to conserve the Black Softshell Turtle.

As part of the pact, a Vision Document 2030 was also released. The document aims to raise at least 1,000 black softshell turtles by 2030.

About Black Softshell Turtle(Nilssonia nigricans):
  • Black Softshell Turtle is a species of freshwater turtle. It is found in India and Bangladesh.
  • Distribution:
    • Brahmaputra’s drainage and Near Temple Ponds in Assam
    • Bangladesh (Chittagong and Sylhet)
  • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
  • Indian Wildlife Protection Act,1972: It does not enjoy legal protection.
  • Significance:
    • Temple Ponds in Assam conserve Turtles based on religious grounds.
    • At the Bayazid Bostami shrine in Chittagong, Bangladesh, the black softshell turtle is known as mazari(inhabitant).
  • Threats:
    • Hunted for turtle meat and cartilage in regional and international markets.

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About Hayagriva Madhava temple
  • The Hayagriva Madhava temple exists in a hilly place which is located at Hajo nearby Guwahati, Assam. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
  • Built by: The present temple structure was constructed by King Raghudeva Narayan in 1583.
    • According to Historians, the temple was built during the Pala period of 10th-12th century A. D.
  • Significance: The temple is revered by Buddhists also, as they believe that Hayagriva Madhava temple is the place where Buddha attained Nirvana. Thus, the temple becomes an ancient pilgrimage center for both Hindus and Buddhists.

Source: The Hindu


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