In a hugely significant finding, a fresh water turtle species called Black Soft-shell turtle- which is categorized under the Extinct in the Wild (EW) of the Red List of Threatened Species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has been discovered in the wetlands of Old Akuk village in Wokha district, Nagaland.
This was confirmed after results of DNA sample of a turtle resembling the Black Soft-shell species captured from Wokha district, which was sent to Bangalore, arrived in the positive on March 20, 2017.
Black Soft-shell turtles discovered
Black Soft-shell turtle (scientific name Nilssonia nigricans) is a critically endangered species classified as Extinct in the Wild since 2002 and reported as endemic only to Assam and Bangladesh.
This turtle was long thought to exist exclusively in one manmade temple pond at the shrine of Sultan al-Arefin Hazrat Bayazid Bistami in Chittagong, Bangladesh where they are dependent on humans for survival. Only recently, the species was confirmed at a few spots in the Brahmaputra River and tributaries in the state of Assam and in some of the region’s temple ponds and tanks including the Kasopukhuri pond on Nilachal Hill, next to the Kamakhya Temple at Guwahati.
The discovery of this extremely rare species in the wild of Wokha district of Nagaland was made after Lansothung Lotha, a Forest Ranger under the Department of Forests, Ecology, Environment and Wildlife, Nagaland saw a picture of a captive turtle resembling the Black Soft-shell species being circulated in social media platform and decided to investigate the origin of the photograph and possibly rescue the animal if alive.
Source- Morung Express