A two-day workshop titled, “Let’s Talk Turtles” was jointly organized by the Department of Zoology, Assam Don Bosco University, Assam State Biodiversity Board, Turtle Survival Alliance, and Help Earth on 11-12 June 2019 at Tapesia Campus.
The workshop was designed to imbibe an interest in Turtle biology among the participants and building capacity of the youth in turtle conservation. Topics covered in the workshop included turtle taxonomy, turtle biology, legal aspects, molecular taxonomy, turtle survey methodology etc. The resource persons – Dr. Shailendra Singh of Turtle Survival Alliance, Dr. Saibal Sengupta of Assam Don Bosco University, Dr. Rajeev Basumatary of D.R. College and Dr. Madhurima Das from IBT Hub, Arya Vidyapeeth College and Dr. Jayaditya Purkayastha from Help Earth were all experts in the field of Turtle Biology. During the workshop, turtle taxonomy, turtle biology, legal aspects, molecular taxonomy, the turtle survey methodology were addressed and a special session on threatened species of Assam notified U/S 38 of Biodiversity Act of 2002 was conducted by Dr. Oinam Sunanda Devi, Scientific Officer,Assam State Biodiversity Board.
The program was inaugurated by Fr. (Dr.) Francis Fernandez, Controller of Examinations, Assam Don Bosco University, Dr. Shailendra Singh of Turtle Survival Alliance and Dr. Prasanta Kumar Choudhury, Head, Department of Zoology, Assam Don Bosco University.
The participants were research students and Master Degree students from Cotton University, Gauhati University, ICAR, Assam Don Bosco University and NGOs’.
Assam is home to 20 species of turtles making it the most species-rich state in India in terms of turtle diversity but unfortunately, 70% are threatened with extinction.