Freeland’s Study Throws Fresh Light on Gravity of Turtle Trade

(20 January, 2016)

Vallari Sheel, Project Officer with Freeland India, presented the organisation’s latest study on illegal turtle and tortoise trade in India and Bangladesh, at the YETI (Young Ecologists Talk and Interact) 2016 conference.

Freeland India’s presentation attracted great interest from students, researchers and scientists. The soon-to-be released study has found several species of turtles and tortoises of India involved in a burgeoning illegal trade, in both India and Bangladesh. The study takes a comprehensive look at species involved, geographic spread of trade, trade networks and markets. This little-talked-about subject drew several questions from the audience, such as on contribution of different species to this trade, economics of the trade, and status of legal trade in certain species. Students and experts lauded the presentation for elucidating the trade in these species.

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Many participants also approached Sheel with their own personal field experiences regarding this trade. “It was great to see the interest this presentation generated amongst the audience, since this topic is poorly understood and needs to be looked into in greater detail,” said Sheel. “It helped in starting a conversation which we hope will continue beyond the conference itself,” she added.

YETI is a conference for students and researchers of ecology and conservation in India, organized by student volunteers from across the country. The conference features talks, presentations and several workshops. It serves as a platform for students and ecologists to present and discuss their work, exchange ideas, and strike up collaborations. The 2016 edition of the conference was held over a period of four days from 17th – 20th January at Amity University, Noida.