Important Population of Ganges Soft Shell Turtle

Nesting Surveys in Corbett were quite a revelation this year. During these surveys I found some time to even go looking for some freshwater turtles. The southern periphery of the Corbett National Park was not surveyed by me in 2008. This time round I decided to take a small diversion into an area which I had not looked at back then. As my driver, Sajid meandered our 4 x 4 down a snaky forest road, I, kept an eager look out at the river below. Reaching a vantage point above a Kund which is Hindi for a deep pool, I, was pleasantly surprised to find right below us a few turtles which were quite large. 

The Kund which is home to a number of Ganges Soft Shell Turtles
Some of them had blackish stripes on their heads and they seemed quite content to bask at mid noon…..even in May when air temperatures were really high. 

A Ganges Soft Shell Turtle with strips on its head
I was sure I was looking at an important population of the Ganges Soft Shell Turtle and it appeared by the presence of juveniles as well as adults that breeding of the species occurs in this area. 

Juvenile Ganges Soft Shell Turtles Basking at Mid Noon
An Adult Ganges Soft Shell Turtle basking
However, I needed to confirm if I was on the right track and sent in a few pictures to my friends at the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) / Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT) in the National Chambal Sanctuary who confirmed my findings based on photo identification. 

The endangered Mahseer fish and Mugger Crocodile were also found in the area......

The endangered Mahseer Fish
A Mugger Crocodile....also endangered
The finds at this location was really interesting and the area would now be a focus of further monitoring during the project. Well, scientific records are of a necessity so on the anvil is a small paper on this population…..