Online Course on basics of rescue and rehabilitation of freshwater macro-fauna in Ganga Basin (with special reference to chelonians and crocodilians)


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Course Description: Freshwater habitats are threatened owing to their limited extent coupled with intensive exploitation. Various anthropogenic factors affecting freshwater habitats include linear infrastructure development that lead to habitat degradation, loss and fragmentation and unsustainable resource extraction practices. These together impact the rich bio-diversity of these habitats and leads to a rapid decline in populations of individual species and number of species present. The rich bio-diversity of the Ganga Basin is also facing similar threats to its existence.

The Ganga Basin is home to 15 of the 28 chelonian species (turtles and tortoises), and all the three crocodilian species, found in India. These species are facing various threats to their survival resulting in 10 chelonians and all three of the crocodilians being listed under various threat categories in the Wildlife (protection) act and the IUCN red-list of threatened species. We occasionally encounter these in distressed conditions or in situations where they are removed from their natural habitats.

This course is an introduction to the threats facing the biodiversity of Ganga Basin, identifying species and ways of addressing emergent situations of chelonians and crocodilians.

Objectvies:

  1. To provide an overview of the biodiversity of Ganga Basin and factors threatening it.
  2. An introduction to the identification, natural history and unique biological traits of chelonians and crocodilians of Ganga Basin.
  3. To provide an insight into analysing situations where animals need to be rescued, standard practices for the rescue and rehabilitation of chelonians and crocodilians.