TSA Species Spotlight Vol. 2: Northern river terrapin

Northern river terrapin (Batagur baska)

Countries of Origin: India, Bangladesh, Myanmar (extirpated)

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

Estimated surviving population: Unknown/Functionally extinct

Habitat: Large, muddy, tidal rivers and estuaries associated with the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans. A halotolerant (salt-tolerant) species, B. baska is known from records to enter the saline waters of the Bay of Bengal to nest on sandy beaches alongside olive ridley sea turtles!

Size: Females ≤ 60 cm, Males ≤ 49 cm

Factoid: Males of this species display exceptional dichromism during the breeding season, exhibiting coal-black heads, piercing yellow eyes, and a salmon-red of the legs and soft tissues.

Greatest Threats: Poaching of adult turtles for their flesh.

How you can help: The TSA is actively involved in supporting five assurance colonies for the species within their range including the acquisition of new individual specimens for the breeding stock. The only hope for the perpetuity of this species is through the success of these assurance colonies. To support the TSA in this effort please donate at www.turtlesurvival.org/donate.

To find out more about TSA’s conservation efforts with the Northern river terrapin please CLICK HERE.