OPEN 9:30 A.M. TO 6:00 P.M. DAILY Support Your Zoo | About Us | Contact |



A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.



Geographic Location

Terai Arc Landscape (TAL), along the Ghaghra River in North India

Focal Species

Black softshell turtle

IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species

Extinct in the wild

About the Project

The project will integrate alternate livelihoods for local communities in an ongoing conservation strategy for freshwater turtles of the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL), in the state of Uttar Pradesh along India and Nepal border. TAL has been recognized as one of the top 200 Global Biodiversity Hotspots in need of conservation (WWF, 2000). Additionally, the area supports more than 50% of India’s freshwater turtle species, the main target species being the Crowned River Turtle, (Hardella thurjii).  A newly built community center will be providing infrastructure toward sustaining and expanding community programs. In tandem, baseline abundances of and characteristic threats to the H thurjii and other aquatic turtle species will be obtained. Reproductive ecology of the H thurjii will be investigated to develop a large-scale head-starting program to boost dwindling population on Sarju River.  Rescue operations for turtles, gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica) and gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) will be continued. Implementation of riverine biodiversity conservation curriculum in 50 selected schools along the project site will be done.  Advocating the use of hoop traps with turtle friendly modifications to local fishermen would enable mitigation of threats.

Project Mission: Committed toward conserving the imperiled Indian Turtle fauna in five turtle priority areas (TPAs)


western pond turtle

Turtles at Woodland Park Zoo
Zoo visitors will find a variety of turtle species at Woodland Park Zoo’s Day Exhibit, which explores the diversity of reptile and amphibian species and the threats to their conservation.


To learn more:

Read the reptile and amphibian fact sheet