TSA India Program’s Ms. Arunima Singh honored with NatWest Group Earth Heroes Award


JORDAN GRAY, Turtle Survival Alliance, (912) 659-0978, jgray@turtlesurvival.org

• TSA India Program Project Coordinator Ms. Arunima Singh honored with NatWest Group Earth Heroes Save the Species Award
• NatWest Group Save the Species Award is granted annually to two individuals, representing a governmental and non-governmental organization, respectively
• Ms. Singh’s conservation efforts focus on Indian tortoises and freshwater turtles, river dolphins, and crocodilians, and public outreach and education

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA— Turtle Survival Alliance today announced that TSA India Program Project Coordinator Ms. Arunima Singh is the recipient of the NatWest Group Earth Heroes Save the Species Award 2021. The NatWest Group Earth Heroes Awards are a national initiative that recognizes efforts of individuals and institutions across India who determinedly work to mitigate climate change and conserve and preserve the country’s rich biodiversity to build a better relationship between society and nature.

Since 2011, Ms. Singh has led grassroots conservation efforts to safeguard North Indian tortoises and freshwater turtles, crocodilians, and Gangetic river dolphins, as well as expanded scientific knowledge and capacity building for various target groups with the goal of inspiring local action. Ms. Singh has played a pivotal role in advocating the urgent need of conservation breeding programs in the state of Uttar Pradesh for several of India’s most threatened tortoises and freshwater turtles.


On receiving the honor, Ms. Singh expressed, “I am grateful to the NatWest Group for this award and want to thank all the jury members for their recognition of my efforts. Receiving this award has further deepened my commitment to continue working for the conservation of these imperiled creatures.”

“This recognition will not only attract the much needed visibility of the wider conservation community to the plight of these animals, but will also encourage other young conservationists with similar interests,” she continued. Ms. Singh also thanked Uttar Pradesh Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department (UPFD) for their continued support of her endeavors to safeguard aquatic wildlife and their associated habitats.

Ms. Singh’s dedication to the joint UPFD/TSA India Program’s Laboratory for Aquatic Biology at the Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Center in Lucknow, has led to the development of assurance colonies and head start programs for numerous imperiled tortoise and freshwater turtle species of northern India. Further, Ms. Singh’s research in the Sarju and Ghagra rivers of the Terai Arc Landscape has garnered her several accolades including the WCS John Thorbjarnarson Fellowship for Reptile Research (2018), PhD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Prakriti Ratna Award for Nature and Wildlife Conservation (2018), and a Turtle Conservation Fund Award in 2021. She is also on the frontline when it comes to wildlife crisis response, having provided triage for tens of thousands of turtles seized from black-market trade, as well as other wildlife, and coordinating their release.

“Arunima has been one of the most remarkable conservationists in the country, single-handedly attending to several wildlife distress calls,” said Dr. Shailendra Singh, Director of TSA India Program. “Her research on a rare freshwater turtle species, the Crowned River Turtle (Hardella thurjii), has provided watershed moments for scientific turtle conservation communities and aids our organization in the development of species-specific conservation strategies.”

The NatWest Group Earth Heroes Awards is in its 11th year of service, providing a national platform to champions in protecting and conserving India’s rich biodiversity. The award winners are selected by an independent jury of distinguished personalities representing conservation science and management, media, and government, including Roshni Nadar Malhotra, Dr. M.K Ranjitsingh, Dr. Jayshree Vencatesan, Siddhanta Das, Sree Nandy, Abhilash Khandekar, and Dr. Amit Mallick.


About Turtle Survival Alliance

With a vision of zero turtle extinctions in the 21st century and a mission to transform passion for turtles into effective conservation action, the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was formed in 2001 in response to rampant and unsustainable collection of Asian turtles supplying Chinese markets. Since its inception the TSA, a with 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has become recognized as a global force for turtle conservation, capable of taking swift and decisive action on behalf of critically endangered turtles and tortoises. TSA employs a three-pronged approach to turtle conservation: 1) restoring populations in the wild where possible; 2) securing species in captivity through assurance colonies; and 3) building capacity to restore, secure and conserve species within their range countries. In addition to the Turtle Survival Center in South Carolina, TSA manages collaborative turtle conservation programs in 15 diversity hotspots around the world. For more information, visit: www.turtlesurvival.org; http://www.facebook.com/turtlesurvival; www.instagram.com/turtlesurvival; @turtlesurvival on Twitter.