Arco Newsletters 2014

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2012

–ARCO Newsletter no.01-

Editorial: ARCO-Nepal
Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich

September 2012
FIRST ACTIONS AT BUDO HOLI
TURTLE RESCUE & CONSERVATION CENTRE

First Translocation of a
Peacock Softshell Turtle at
Budo Holi Turtle Rescue
& Conservation Centre ….

……… and also of
Yellow-Bellied Roofed Turtles

A 10 kg male of Nilssonia hurum
came to ARCO-TRCC in Jhapa -Nepal

1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012
Table of Contents
 First Non-Government Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre
„Budo Holi“ in Jhapa/ SE Nepal
 We introduce: Our New Project Partner and new ARCO-Nepal
employee Milan Kharel working for his ph and Budo Holi TRCC
 More news about the disastrous situation for turtles in Nepal
Turtle trafficking news in spring 2012
 Reports by Milan Kharel:
Turtle trafficking at Koshi river
Developments at Budo Holi TRCC in SE Nepal
First Turtle Translocation to Budo Holi TRCC

………..3
………..3

………..4
………..4
………..5
………..6

 Presentation of Roadsigns – can they help to prevent turtle trafficking

………..7

 Months ago – Signing of MOU and Government acceptance

………..7

 Hope for Nepal´s Turtles

Photo credits: Milan Kharel, cover page, p. 3,

Next Issues:
!!ARCO – Spain, November 11th 2012
ARCO – Nepal, December 2012

Annual Assemblages:

Sense of Project Applications and Enigmatic Science Publications in Nepal
A New Species for Nepal
Development Plans for the Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre at Jhapa
ARCO- Spain, Turtle Rescue and Conservation Centre

A publication of ARCO-Nepal
Copyright free after permission and credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.

More about us at

www.arco-nepal.de
2

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012

 First Non-Government Turtle Conservation by ARCO – Nepal at
„Budo Holi“ in Jhapa/ SE Nepal
Long times passed since 1982 for first signing of MOU by ARCO-Nepal on Turtle Conservation in
Nepal. First government acceptance to contribute to Turtle Conservation in Nepal had been given
already in 1982 by King Mahendra Trust of Nature Conservation.
Many years of scientific projects, collaborations with Tribhuwan University, Students guidance and
supervisions as well as many publications dedicated to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal had
been realized. Almost ten years passed, -due to political difficulties- without any field conservation
methods but several masters on the turtle situation in SE-Nepal had been supported during this time.
In April 2012 finally ARCO-Nepal and
SUMMEF signed a Memorandum of Understanding that at Sanichare Martyrs Memorial and Park
in Jhapa region, SE Nepal, a Turtle Rescue and
Conservation Centre shall be developed within
the next few years. In the same summer 2012 we
also received the official Government approval
that ARCO-Nepal as Non Government Organisation can collaborate with the Nepali authorities to develop such a TRCC in the Terai.

 We introduce:
Our New Project Partner and new
ARCO-Nepal employee MILAN KHAREL
working for his ph-thesis and realisation
of Turtle Rescue and Conservation
programs at Budo Holi TRCC
Milan Kharel, born on 27/08/1980 (2037/05/11),
married, 2 children. Studied in Jhapa and Biratnagar,
Notary translation of Government acceptance
letter to start with Turtle Rescue Conservation
Centre in SE-Nepal.

27th August 1980 (2037/05/11)
...speaks English, Nepali, Hindi, Maithili
worked at Medical labs, on Computer
Software and received a permanent
teaching license. He lectured In science
and health, biology and zoology. His
master had already been supported by
ARCO-Nepal and focused on “General
Survey of Anthropogenic Impacts on
Chelonian Fauna in the Kankai river and
its Vicinities, Jhapa, East Nepal”.
3

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012

 More news about the disastrous situation for turtles in Nepal

Turtle trafficking on the rise in Nepal
| 28 February, 2012 10:03 / Timeslive
Trafficking of turtles to China from Nepal is on the rise, media reports said Tuesday.
Smugglers have been trafficking turtles, many of them endangered, to the town of Zhangmu, just
over the Chinese border north of Kathmandu, according to the Kantipur daily.
Trade in tortoises and turtles is prohibited in Nepal, where many species are facing possible
extinction, including the red-crowned roof turtle, the three-striped roof turtle, elongated tortoise, and
narrow-headed soft-shell turtle.
Traffickers are thought to catch the turtles in Nepal's plains, before taking them to Kathmandu, from
where they are taken to Zhangmu for sale.
"We've been screening goods trucks passing into China more thoroughly to prevent the trafficking,"
district police chief Basanta Lama said.
Chinese buyers arrive at the border town two days a week to buy tortoises, which are sold for 15 000
rupees ($194) each.
An estimated 50 to 60 animals are sold each week, a local trader was quoted by the report as saying.
Some turtles are valued in China as an aphrodisiac and luxury ingredient, and often served in soup,
the report said.
http://www.timeslive.co.za/scitech/2012/02/28/turtle-trafficking-on-the-rise-in-nepal
kindly submitted by Henk Zwartepoorte/Rotterdam

REQUEST FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT BY ARCO-NEPAL!!!!
OCTOBER 2012

Turtle trafficking at Koshi river in 2012
Koshi is the largest river of Nepal and has an area
of 28,140 sq. km. It is considered one of the
hotspots for the Nepali turtle fauna. Koshi Tappu
Wildlife Reserve (KTWLR) lies along the vicinity
of Koshi river and extends between 86°55'–87°05'E
and 26°34'–26°45'N. It covers an area of 17500 ha.
Many endangered turtle species such as Indotestudo elongata, Nilssonia hurum, N. gangeticus,
Chitra indica, Pangshura flaviventer, P. tentoria
cicumdata, P. smithi, Lissemys punctata, Melanochelys

Heavy turtle poaching at Koshi River Banks

trijuga, M. tricarinata were already reported by earlier workers from here.
4

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012
But unfortunately, it has been found that local fishermen, grass cutters or fodder collectors with
herds of cattle enter the reserve freely and they can easily trap the helpless turtles by using hand or
by hooks or nets. Nowadays turtles in Koshi are under heavy threat due to illegal

trafficking to Kathmandu (capital of Nepal). Some agents from Kathmandu
frequently visit Koshi and encourage the local fishermen to capture live turtle. Local
handlers buy turtle from local fishermen at the rate of about NRs.100 per specimen and call the
agent when they collect at least 10 turtles. In turn agents pay rupees 1000 per turtle specimen to
local handlers. It has been seen that they prefer small turtles or juveniles especially of the roofshelled turtles (genus Pangshura) for aquarium use in Kathmandu. According to religious beliefs if
someone keeps live turtle in their house, prosperity avails to them. The rate of trafficking is so
horrible that every month, more than hundred turtles have been illegally transported by bus to
Kathmandu. Besides this, tribal people living in the vicinity of Koshi river are mostly dependent on
flesh of large soft-shelled turtles. If such trend continues then there is no doubt that most of these
endangered turtle species will completely disappear without any notice in the very next future.
Hence, they need urgent protection - right now!!
By:Milan Kharel, Ph.D. Candidate, Jhapa, Nepal

Developments at Budo Holi TRCC in Jhapa, SE Nepal
Jhapa district occupies an area of 1606 sq. km and is located geographically between 26°20’ to 26°
50’ N and 87°39’ to 88°12’ E, at an altitude of 56 to 381m above sea level (Rai, 2004). The turtle
rescue and conservation area (TRCC) is a wetland, locally called ‘Budho Holi’ or ‘Bhimsen
Pokhari’. It is located at Sanischare VDC ward No.- 9,Goldhap about 6 km north from Birtamode,
in Jhapa district. The area is surrounded with beautiful Sal (Shorea robusta) dominated forests and
belongs to Martyr’s Memorial Foundation- SUMMEF (‘Sukhani Shahid Smriti Pratisthan’)
occupying an area of 22.4 hectares. The Turtle Rescue and Conservation Centre (TRCC) was
established as joint venture program of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Society Nepal
(ARCO-Nepal) and Sukhani Martyr’s Memorial Foundation (SUMMEF). Plans for the TRCC are

Construction work of the Park´s entrance gate...

.. ….and security guard house

ambitious. It will have multiple functions as a centre for research, conservation, education and
conservation-tourism and activities related with freshwater and terrestrial turtles. It will also serve
as a rescue centre for turtles confiscated from illegal trade. Physical facilities for the centre shall
5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012

include an open-air hatchery, a building as information centre and to house laboratory and office.
Others shall be ponds for freshwater turtles and outdoor enclosures for rescued turtles, breeding
ponds for captive breeding programs, outdoor exhibits for interpretive purposes and an education
centre. Staff, visiting scientists, and volunteers shall have a basis to work and stay. Its main
objective is to serve as “living” conservation centres for freshwater and terrestrial turtle research
and to conduct research in all aspects of their biology and ecology. Previous study show that
various roof-shelled turtle species such as Pangshura flaviventer, Pangshura smithi smithi,
Pangshura tentoria circumdata, softshell turtles like Nilssonia gangeticus, Lissemys punctata,
Nilssonia hurum, and more terrestrial species like Indotestudo elongate and Melanochelys
tricarinata were existing in Jhapa. Recently, during summer 2012 turtle species like Lissemys
punctata, Nilssonia hurum and Pangshura flaviventer could have been translocated into the main
lake of TRCC area. An updated checklist of the existing flora and fauna in and around the study
area is under preparation. There will be built seminatural habitats for aquatic and terrestrial turtles
and research and education programs initiated. Fund-raising activities, and public outreach through
educational campaigns together with the establishment of a Recreation Park including a small
zoological sanctuary serving as a rescue centre for animals confiscated from illegal trade shall
contribute for its sustainability and income generation for the species´conservation and livelihood of
the local people.

First Turtle Translocations to Budo Holi TRCC
See photos on cover page!!
Early morning my cell phone ringed continuously, as I received the call, I was informed that one
big turtle of about 10 kg has been found at Damak, Jhapa. Then without any delay, I started my
motorbike and headed towards Damak municipality about 100 km far from my residence for rescue
purpose. The day was 21st September 2012. When I reached over there, the specimen was already
released into a pond located within premises of Damak Multiple Campus, Jhapa. Being monsoon
period, the pond was completely filled with water. I hired a local fisherman with his net to trap the
specimen without hurting it. He tried a lot but being unable to catch it. Then I decided to drain the
water out of the pond by the help of water pump set. By the regular efforts of about two hour, we
were able to drain the water out and finally catch the specimen by hand. It was a mature male Indian
peacock softshell turtle (Nilssonia hurum) of 9.3 kg body weight. Necessary biometry of the
specimen and GPS coordinates of the location were taken and the specimen was kept in a wet
cotton bag. Actually, the specimen was caught by a local from the bank of a riverlet called Dipeni
Khola near Damak Multiple Campus. When the man was returning to his home at evening, he saw
the turtle was crawling towards the bank of this small river. He caught it by hand and kept it in his
house for five days then he handed it over to the college authority. Photographs were taken and
immediately send to Prof. Dr. Hermann Schleich, president of ARCO-Nepal, for the conformation
of the species identification. Then the specimen was transported at the same day to the TRCC by
car. A brief press meet was conducted at Birtamod, Jhapa about the acquisition of the species. The
specimen was translocated in the main lake within the premises of TRCC, Sanischare, Jhapa in the
auspicious presence of Prof. Dr. Kaluram Rai (Representative of ARCO-Nepal), Mr. Deoraj
Ghimire (president, SUMMEF Park), media persons and present researcher Mr. Milan Kharel.
Finally the time has came when we released the first international protected (CITES) big turtle at
our new Turtle Rescue and Conservation Centre (TRCC), Budoholi, Sanischare, Jhapa, South-East
Nepal. It was this way how finally we were able to rescue the first turtle specimen by our tasks
working for the turtle conservation in Nepal and for the Budo Holi TRCC.

“Damn the trade that kills turtle”
By: Milan Kharel, Ph.D. candidate/ARCO-employee, TRCC, Jhapa, Nepal

6

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012

 Presentation of Roadsigns – our hope helping to prevent turtle trafficking!

Roadsigns designed by ARCO-Nepal and submitted to Nepali authorities and officials.

 Months ago – Signing of MOU in April 2012

7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 01, September 2012

 Hope for Nepal´s Turtles
Vereinssitz: c/o Schatzmeister W. Dziakonski
Edlingerstr. 18, D-81543 München
www.ARCO-Nepal.de
Vorsitzender: Prof. Dr. H. Schleich / ARCO
Ctra. A 349 km 1, E-04200 Tabernas / Almería
Email:[email protected]

September, 2012
Board of Directors
Prof.Dr.Hermann Schleich
President
H. Mario Pichler
Vice President
Waldemar Dziakonski
Treasurer

ADVISORY BOARD
Dr. Christiane Anders
D-Munich
Dr. Markus Baur
D-Munich
Prof.Dr. Rudolf Hoffmann
D-Munich
Dr. Werner Kaestle
D-Sachrang/Aschau
Dr. Peter Praschag
AU-Graz
Dr. Peter Pritchard
USA- Florida
Jose-M. Rodriguez Linde
E- Almería
Henk Zwartepoorte
NL-Rotterdam
Prof.Dr. KaluRam Rai
Nepal
Partner of TSA
Turtle Survival Alliance

Dear Members, Friends and potential future sponsors,
ARCO-Nepal, the society supporting conservation of species and habitat of
amphibians and reptiles in Nepal, focusing on its endangered turtle fauna
especially, is already 15 years active with its endeavours. Amongst those
were several strategies in conservation, training and education as well as
scientific investigations on the whole herpetofauna of Nepal.
We are now focusing on the most recent project to be realised in Nepal that
has been accepted by government and local authorities. This exciting project
shall be realized not only for the conservation of endangered species and
restoration of habitat it also shall bring benefits employing, training and
educating local indigenous people.
You will find more details like project description the cost estimates for
building, fencing, breeding pond arrangements on our website www.arconepal.de or upon personal request.
To achieve the first important step of the basic construction units, we still do
have to raise fundings However, € 15,000 realised in donations would
enable us to begin the first construction phase as Arco-Nepal would
contribute 20.000 EUR itself.
Direct project support will come from the funding society ARCO-Nepal
(reg.soc.) and engaged project co-ordinators Henk Zwartepoorte
(Rotterdam), Dr. Markus Baur (Munich), Jose M. Rodriguez-Linde
(Almeria), Dr. Peter Praschag (Graz) and Dr. Peter Pritchard (Florida).
After having accomplished the financiation for the construction phases, the
next step will be the elaboration of a management plan for breeding,
conservation, education and development of
further conservation issues in the country.
We now ask you for your constructive ideas on the project and any possible
sponsorship. Every contribution counts, no matter how small, and will
enable the project to move ahead. Even achieving a metre of enclosure is a
support and part of a step forward.
Imminently requested is your really strong support and any assistance in this
long expected project!!

Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
Chair ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.

8

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2012

–ARCO Newsletter no.02-

December 2012
DEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR THE
TURTLE RESCUE & CONSERVATION
CENTRE AT JHAPA
The dammed lake is filled to max. level since summer 2012

Fencing around the Park is finished and
more turtles have been translocated.
Here: Lissemys punctata
1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

Table of Contents








Development Plans for the Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre at Jhapa
The building complex
Dam constructions

A new Gecko species for Nepal
NEW by ARCO-NEPAL: Field Identification cards
Hope for Nepal´s Turtles

…1

…4
…5
…7

…7
…8

D. Diego Tovar and D. Jose
Maria Rodriguez Linde, both
living in Almeria (S-Spain) are
working as collaborators and
members of Arco-Nepal for the
detailed planning of the Turtle
Rescue
and
Conservation
Centre at Budo Holi / Jhapa –
S-Nepal.
ARCO-Nepal commits many
thanks for their contribution
and help.

Annual Assemblage:
Jahreshauptversammlung

ARCO – Nepal, December 18th 2012, 18.30h
in München, Kaulbachstr. 37

Editorial: ARCO-Nepal / Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
Photo credits: Milan Kharel, cover page; Nicolai Pedersen, p.7.
Drawings: Diego Tovar
A publication of ARCO-Nepal
Copyright free after permission and credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.

More about us at : www.arco-nepal.de
2

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

Aerial view of SUMMEF Recreation Park Area and integrated planning of Budo Holi TRCC
Legend for outline/line markings
Black: outline marking of TRCC area
Black: TRCCentre Building with
office, lab, reception etc.
Yellow: Earthen ways/paths around
park and inside TRCC
Blue: Pond and basins for turtle
maintenance and breeding purposes
Pink: Tortoises (terrestrial turtle area)
Blue shaded: Education centre

Outside black marked area
Red: Tubes, pipes for water supply
Blue: Artificial lake area after outlet
of main dam
Pink: Dam with water outlets for
irrigation and supply to TRCC

3

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

The Building Complex at TRCC

The main construction of the
TRCC covers a surface of 175 m²
and the building itself 117 m². It
has a main entrance with open
reception and a rear entrance for
direct reach of the lab facilities.
Others are guest room incl. library,
office + reception, bath room and
lab+vet room. A meeting room
shall provide facil-ities for small
conferences and official receptions.
The max. height is 4.5 m and the
1 m extending for-roof gives protection during monsoon rain and
sunshine. The whole complex shall
be constructed above a gravel filled
underlaying platform.

4

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

Dam Constructions
Early construction phase
of the main dam for the
recreation lake area at
Sanichare Martyrs Park..
The dam is now finalized
and to the left of it (see
photo) the area for the
future TRCC lake is
shown here. Up to 100 cm
deep shall become the
attached artificial lake for
the turtle conservation
project. with another dam
construction
For this work ARCONepal still seeks funding
and donations to start as
soon as possible with its
realisation.
A platform for controlled feeding by visitors shall be part of the general construction work.
Scheme for dam construction of TRCC lake and small pond

Drawing: D. Tavor
The north-western part of the park area still bears
more possibilities for future development by a second
small damming project.
5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

Different views of the TRCC area : Sal trees of open small forest in background mark the free
roaming tortoise area for Indotestudo elongata. The blue thatched former picnic shelter will be
converted to an Education Centre.

The small Sal forest is a
suitable in situ habitat for the
Elongated tortoise (Indotestudo
elongata) and an open air
exhibition. In the rear of the
forest runs the fencing line and
the natural grass land in front
already became part of some
tree plantation.

Future Education Centre of
ARCO-Nepal TRCC.
In the rear the fencing of the
whole park area can be seen and
to the right a veneration place
for turtles can be realized.
Turtles do play an important
role in the hinduistic religion as
goddesses and in the whole
cosmogenesis.
6

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

………..and a new Gecko species for Nepal

The species found by Nicolai will be
described and mentioned in the new
Field guide
to
Amphibians and Reptiles of
Nepal
2013!!

NEW by ARCO-NEPAL: Field Identification cards
for all turtles being proved for or suspected to exist in Nepal!! 42 pages, A5 format, spiral bound,
full size colour photographs, text in Nepali & English, with local names. Incl. CITES/IUCN
listings. Project in collaboration with Turtle Survival Alliance! ISBN 978-3-9814938-5-6. (2012)

Turtle Conservation
for Nepal´s Endangered Species
Field ID Cards by ARCO-Nepal

2012

7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

 Hope for Nepal´s Turtles
Vereinssitz: c/o Schatzmeister W. Dziakonski
Edlingerstr. 18, D-81543 München
www.ARCO-Nepal.de
Vorsitzender: Prof. Dr. H. Schleich / ARCO
Ctra. A 349 km 1, E-04200 Tabernas / Almería
Email:[email protected]

December, 2012
Board of Directors
Prof.Dr.Hermann Schleich
President
H. Mario Pichler
Vice President
Waldemar Dziakonski
Treasurer
Advisory Board
Dr. Christiane Anders
D-Munich
Dr. Markus Baur
D-Munich
Prof.Dr. Rudolf Hoffmann
D-Munich
Dr. Werner Kaestle
D-Sachrang/Aschau
Dr. Peter Praschag
AU-Graz
Dr. Peter Pritchard
USA- Florida
Jose-M. Rodriguez Linde
E- Almería
Henk Zwartepoorte
NL-Rotterdam
Prof.Dr. KaluRam Rai
Nepal
Partner of TSA
Turtle Survival Alliance

Dear Members, Friends and potential future sponsors,
ARCO-Nepal, the society supporting conservation of species and habitat of
amphibians and reptiles in Nepal, focusing on its endangered turtle fauna
especially, is already 15 years active with its endeavours. Amongst those
were several strategies in conservation, training and education as well as
scientific investigations on the whole herpetofauna of Nepal.
We are now focusing on the most recent project to be realised in Nepal that
has been accepted by government and local authorities. This exciting project
shall be realized not only for the conservation of endangered species and
restoration of habitat it also shall bring benefits employing, training and
educating local indigenous people.
You will find more details like project description the cost estimates for
building, fencing, breeding pond arrangements on our website www.arconepal.de or upon personal request.
To achieve the first important step of the basic construction units, we still do
have to raise fundings However, € 15,000 realised in donations would
enable us to begin the first construction phase as Arco-Nepal would
contribute 20.000 EUR itself.
Direct project support will come from the funding society ARCO-Nepal
(reg. soc.) and engaged project co-ordinators Henk Zwartepoorte
(Rotterdam), Dr. Markus Baur (Munich), Jose M. Rodriguez-Linde
(Almeria), Dr. Peter Praschag (Graz) and Dr. Peter Pritchard (Florida).
After having accomplished the financiation for the construction phases, the
next step will be the elaboration of a management plan for breeding,
conservation, education and development of
further conservation issues in the country.
We now ask you for your constructive ideas on the project and any possible
sponsorship. Every contribution counts, no matter how small, and will
enable the project to move ahead. Even achieving a metre of enclosure is a
support and part of a step forward.
Imminently requested is your really strong support and any assistance in this
long expected project!!

Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich

Chair ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
8

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2013

–ARCO Newsletter no.03-

March 2013
SUMMEF Recreational Park & Nature Reserve
Is going to be opened now, spring 2013
Table of Contents






Opening of SUMMEF Recreational Park & Nature Reserve
Dam constructions
New species rescued and translocated to TRCC
Acquisitions and Specimen recording
ARCO-Nepal’ s Contribution to Conservation and FREE LITERATURE
 Turtles in Hindu Mythology

…. 1
…2-3
… 3
…4-5
…6-7
…. 8

¡¡¡¡Make your Donation Now!!!!
Vote for Turtle Conservation
and support our project in SE Nepal
Account/Kto.-Nr. 1000099984

BIC SSKMDEMMXXX

Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München

BLZ 70150000

IBAN DE95701500001000099984

The big main lake of the SUMMEF Recreation Park & Nature Reserve has been filled completely
till end of 2012. Here we could release the first rescued and translocated Roofshelled terrapins
(Pangshura) and Softshell turtles (Nilssonia, Lissemys).
One year of work and preparation for developing and realizing the infrastructure of a new
recreation Park in Sanichare / Jhapa (SE-Nepal) sets the basis for starting with the first
constructions for the Budo Holi Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre. The cost evaluations
had been made by the Nepali Head institution of the SUMMEF Park, our joint venture
partner……….
…..and first decisions to start immediately with necessary construction works have been
given by ARCO-Nepal right now this March 2013!
1

 First achievements will be the construction of 2 dams for making up a
small new artificial lake (lake 1 below) and a big pond (lake 2 below) to
serve as first turtle rescue and catchment areas.

The planned lakes 1 + 2 (a future possibility might be a still undecided lake 3) shall serve for
primary acceptance and housing of confiscated turtle species as well as breeding for nonaggressive species that allow to be kept in groups, of course, having the proper infrastructures,
thus also containing visual obstacles, vegetation and hiding as well as basking places.
For “Lake 1” we need a concrete dam being constructed of approx. 32 m to receive overflow
water from the main lake. The general size of this. max. 1 m deep will be approx. 1600 sqm and
160 m of perimeter.
ARCO-Nepal gave agreement to SUMMEF to start asap with this construction!
For “Lake 2” an earthen dam is planned of 18 m length to achieve 160 qm allowing about a same
water depth of max. 1m. Both lakes shall receive a lower mesh wire fencing, 20 cm dug into
ground and 50 cm above surface to prevent the project turtles from escaping.
The area S to the planned Education
Centre (see next issue of newsletters)
shall receive 3 ponds also for primary
acceptance, separate breeding of
species and housing of confiscated
turtle species.
The background of the photo shows
the place for small future enclosures
for protected rearing of hatchlings
and for breeding purposes for more
aggressive species.
The pillars seen to the left are part of
the future education centre.
2

Of course we are well aware that we are just stepwise approaching the challenge of
breeding endangered turtles in the sake of conservation issues –but unless the proper
infrastructure is not developed we just must fight for the survival of confiscated, donated or
whatever survival chance we get for native turtle species.

 New Species Rescued and Translocated to TRCC
During last year we received already different species like Nilssonia hurum, Pangshura
flaviventer, Indotestudo elongata and Lissemys punctata.
After the reception or translocation of these turtle specimens they had been checked for their
health status and every single specimen received its individual entry-data-sheet to assure its
origin, size, conditions and possibilities for easy re-identification in future.

Photos of rescued animals:Melanochelys tricarinata,
Indotestudo, Lissemys

Translocation of Endangered Turtle Specimens from Central Nepal to TRCC
After completing, MOU signing ceremony between SUMMEF and ARCO-Nepal, I got an ample
opportunity to accompany Spanish scienitists Prof. Dr. Hermann Schleich, Prof. Rodriguez Linde and
Prof. Christian De La Fe in their field visit in last April 2012. After one week of travelling in different
places in Nepal starting from Jhapa, then Ilam Mai pokhari, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Chitwan
National Park, finally we waved them goodbye at Tribhuvan International airport at Kathmandu
(Nepal).While returning from Kathmandu, a couple made request for the lift to our car. They were Mr.
Om B.K. and his wife local of Bharatganj VDC, ward no.-6, Bara District, Central Nepal. We gave them
lift from Hetauda to Nijgadh of Bara district. During this short trip, I explained them about our mission for
the rescue and conservation of rare turtles. After one month, Mr. Om B.K. called me and I was informed
that he had found two turtles in the forest and river and kept in his house. I requested him to send me
photographs of these two turtles by email. He did so. I came to know that, of these two specimens one was
Melanochelys tricarinata and the other was Indotestudo elongata. After identification I requested him to
keep them securely by managing proper food and shelter. He did so. Now, the main task was how to bring
them to TRCC legally. Turtles are protected by law in Nepal and interdistrict translocation of protected
species is prohibited by law. I made request to regional forest office to give permission to rescue them for
their conservation and scientific study. Finally they agreed in the clause that rescue and translocation
should be done in the supervision of government authority belonging to the department of forest. I agreed.
I went to the Bara, paid some money voluntarily to him for rearing them for about eight months and
finally bring them securely by keeping them into a big karton (paper box) half filled with leaves and paddy
straw. I took necessary biometry and filled the registration form for each of them. Both of them were
females according to Prof. Hermann Schleich. Of them I.elongata weighed about 1kg and M. tricarinata
weighed 530 g. At present, both live specimens are kept temporarily in the Turtle Conservation Centre
(ARCO-TCC) at Bhadrapur in Jhapa district managed by Prof. Dr. Kalu Ram Rai. We have planned to
translocate them to Budo Holi TRCC as soon as the fencing around is completed. By: Milan Kharel

3

Individual acquisition and specimen and data recording
Amphibian & Reptile Conservation - Nepal (ARCO-Nepal)
Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre (TRCC),
Sanischare, Jhapa,Nepal

SPECIES ACQUISITION FORM
 Data Sheet No………

Date of entry:…………..

Reporter’s name:…………………………………………………………………..
 Address: ……………………………………………..Cell………………...............
 Common Name of the species: Eng………………………………………………
 Species ID:…………………… Nep:……………………………………………..
 Scientific name of the species:………………………………………………….....
 Date of first sight/collection:………………………………………........................
 Location of sight/collection:……………………………………………………….
 Time of sight /collection:……………………Day:

sunny

cloudy

rainy

 GPS coordinates:……………………………….…….......... Elevation:................
 Size (l-w) straight median line cm: Carapace:…………… Plastron……………
 Tail length……………………Height:………………………….. Weight:………
 Caught by:

Hand

 Condition:

Dead

Alive

 Sex:

Male

Female

 Special features:

Hook

Spots/Markings

 External injuries:

Yes

Net

Trap / Others:

Juvenile

Yes

No

No

Type: ………………….

…………………………………………………………………………………….
 Coloration: Carapace: ………………………. Plastron: ………………………….
 General condition:………………………

Kept in………………………………...

 Food given: ………………………………………………………………………..
Species rescued by:
 Released at: TRCC, Jhapa

Date: ………………

Time………

 Notes/Remarks:
4

Standard Data Sheet for individual specimen registration
eg.:
Lissemys punctata
E: Indian flap-shelled turtle

N: Putali Kachhuwa

Released at: TRCC- Jhapa

Recording Person: Kharel, M.

Specimen ID: LP6-10/12

Date of Entry:

25.10.2012

Status Quo: Live Released (place/date/person)

Expired (date):

Others:

TRCC/ 25.10.2012/ Rai, A.

GPS: N 26°40'66" / E 87° 41'42"

Entry data
Locality/Origin form: Bouddha Tole, Damak-10, Jhapa

Reception name: Kharel, M.

Imported by (name): Local farmer, Collected from: Canal Way of catchment (hooked/netted/hand
etc): By Hand Acquired by: Milan Kharel
ID photos/drawings/sketches

Sex female

Age sad

No. of growth rings (max) on horny shield -

Mea su remen ts
Subsequent measurements on separate following data/paper sheets to be added in file holder,
length —width (measured at maximum straight mid line) in cm:
Carapace/Shell

Plastron/Shell

Tail-length

Height

Weight (gm)

12.0-11.0

11.5- 10.0

2.0 cm

5.0 cm

240 g

Additional information/notes
Not any external injury was seen at the time of reporting.
5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

ARCO-NEPAL’ S CONTRIBUTIONS TO CONSERVATION
1. INVESTIGATION. After25 years of collaboration with Nepal’s Institutions like University, Natural
History Museum, Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Zoo, many international colleagues and
uncounted here unnamed helpers, friends and native people allowed us to try some holistic approaches to
cover the field of Herpetology (Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal, pp. 1002, 2002) for this country. Several
books, publications conservation contributions have been issued during these times (see www. arco-nepal.de)
and now we are going to finalize the edition of an updated “Fieldguide for the Amphibians and Reptiles of
Nepal“. The book, authored by Werner Kaestle, Kalu Ram Rai & H. Hermann Schleich (2013) will be
printed in English and Nepali, on 627 pages and with over 1000 text drawings and 120 colour photographs
on xx plates in A 5 format.
Prices are not fixed yet but preorders can be already made to: [email protected]

2. EDUCATION. Four study books (2012) for teachers, students and children are now available

FOR FREE DOWNLOAD
on our website: www.arco-nepal.de:

amphibians, turtles, lizards & crocodiles and snakes (pp. 40).
In nepali and English, with black/white full size text illustrations to be coloured according to
many colour photographs shown on coversides

….and also NOW AVAILABLE by ARCO-NEPAL: Field Identification cards
On 40 pages 18 full A 5 size colour photographs of all turtles known to occur or possibly existing in Nepal
are shown. Accompanying texts are in Nepali and English and shall help for the identification in the field.
Front and back cover are plastified, the whole is spiral bound and printed on 250 g paper for easy handling.
Independently are listed on three pages the conservation status of the species treated. The Field ID Cards had
been made particularly for National Park staff and other researchers in the field of turtle conservation. ISBN:
978-3-9814938-5-6.
Orders can be made by mail to [email protected]; price EUR 14.-- + postage EUR 9.60.
Citation: ARCO-Nepal Field ID Cards.- 2012 ; pp. 40.

Turtle Conservation
for Nepal´s Endangered Species
Field ID Cards by ARCO-Nepal

2012

3. CONSERVATION by Protection, Breeding and Assurance colonies for Government coordinated
Release and Re-introduction Programs is the aim of our Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre
6

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

Free Download for new BOOKS
In Nepali & English
Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal
TURTLES
All known and proved to occur TURTLES
of Nepal, with listing of all species and their
state of vulnerability as endangered species
are presented. Colour photos of 12 species
and full A4 size black/white drawings for all
species – can be coloured according to
samples given in colour photographs -- are
shown.
42 pages. ISBN 978-3-9814938-4-9
Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal

LIZARDS & CROCODILES
All known and proved to occur
LIZARDS and CROCODILES of Nepal are
listed and 24 species are shown on colour
photo-graphs and full A4 size black/white
drawings. All species can be coloured
according to samples given in colour
photographs, also for different sexes.
40 pages. ISBN 978-3-9814938-1-8
Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal
SNAKES
All known and proved to occur species
of Nepal, are listed. 34 species are shown on
colour photographs and full A4 size
black/white drawings for all to be coloured
according to samples given in colour
photographs.
42 pages. ISBN 978-3-9814938-2-5
Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal

AMPHIBIANS
All known and proved to occur
AMPHIBIANS
of Nepal, with listing of all species and 32
colour photos with full A4 size black/white
drawings for all species
-- to be coloured according to samples given
in colour photographs-- are shown.
32 pages. ISBN 978-3-9814938-3-2

7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 02, December 2012

Turtles in Hindu Mythology
In Hindu Mythology it is believed that “Earth is supported on the back of Turtle”. There are ten directions like East, West,
th
North, and South as per Vaastu Shastra. But there is one more 11 direction and very rarely some one travels in that
direction. This 11th direction is inwards, towards our own Source. There are few people who have traveled on the inner
journey like Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira, Krishna, Guru Nanak, Osho, Mohammed, Moses etc.Those who have traveled
inwards and found the bliss have always shared their Bliss and wisdom with us. Their wisdom has always directed the
humanity on right path and saved it from disaster. We pray to God or we go to Saints only when we are in trouble and
they always Guide us and protect us. Symbolically Sages are being compared with the Turtle and it is being conveyed
that because of sages, still there is truth alive in this world. The churning of the Ocean of Milk was an elaborate process.
Mount Mandaranchal (or Mount Meru) - it's mythologically the very same) was used as the dasher (churning tool), and
Vasuki, the king of serpents, became the churning rope. The gods held the tail of the snake, while the demons (Asuras)
held its head, and they pulled on it alternately causing the mountain to rotate, which in turn churned the ocean. However,
once the mountain was placed on the ocean, it began to sink. Vishnu in his second incarnation, in the form of a turtle
Kurma, came to their rescue and supported the mountain on his back.

Submitted by: Milan Kharel, Nepal

The turtle pillar is mounted in the courtyard of Purnachandi Mandir (temple of Hindu deity of
power, MAHAKALI dated on Bikram Sambat 1219 or Nepal Sambat 208 (present 2070 BS)
which is about 851 years back, around 1162 AD. It is located in the lalitpur sub-metropolitan
city, ward no -20, Kathmandu, Nepal about 200 m east from the Krishna Mandir of Patan
(which is included in the list of world heritages published by UNESCO). During preliminary
survey no other authentic information about the artist of the turtle is collected. According to
locals, the pillar was built by Nepali artist. Reported by: Milan Kharel

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Meetings/assemblages:
 Turtle Survival Alliance, 11th meeting: August 7-10th, St. Louis
 ARCO-Spain soc. reg., Tabernas, S-Spain at Cortijo Sol y Vida,
Annual assemblage: May 18 th . New Email: [email protected]

Celebrate World Turtle Day: May 23rd
Make your Donation Now for our Conservation Efforts
Editorial: ARCO-Nepal / Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
Photo credits: Milan Kharel, Google Earth
A publication of ARCO-Nepal.
Copyright free after permission and credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
More about us at : www.arco-nepal.de

Please write us your opinion on our conservation issues at email: [email protected]
Or simply post it on facebook at arco-nepal
8

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2013

–ARCO Newsletter no.04-

ARCO-Nepal & ARCO-Spain
celebrated
World Turtle Day 2013
Table of Contents
 Realized for World Turtle Day: ARCO-Nepal & SUMMEF constructed a big dammed
lake at SUMMEF Park in SE-Nepal for the Turtle Rescue & Conservatio Program .. 1
 Project review on Budo Holi Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre in SE-Nepal …. 4
 Fieldguide of Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal – Now available
…. 4
 News from Arco-Spain
…. 5
 ARCO-Spain celebrated its Annual General Membership Meeting
.… 4
 Job-Posting for our Turtle & Rescue Centre at SE-Nepal
.… 8

ARCO-Nepal & SUMMEF constructed a big dammed lake at SUMMEF Park in
SE-Nepal for the Turtle Rescue & Conservation Program

In 2012 the big main lake of the SUMMEF Recreation Park & Nature Reserve has been filled
completely replacing the formerly abused wetland area. Here we could release the first rescued and
translocated terrapins and Softshell turtles during last years´ acitivities. Finally two dams will be
constructed – only this year´ s early onset of monsoon rains stopped the construction works.
1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

¡¡¡¡Make your Donation Now!!!! Vote for Turtle Conservation and support our project in SE
Nepal that we can continue with our project development for rescuing, homing and breeding
endangered turtle species of Nepal:
Account/Kto.-Nr. 1000099984
BIC SSKMDEMMXXX
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München
BLZ 70150000
IBAN DE95701500001000099984

In May 2013, just getting ready for World Turtle
Day, the efforts of SUMMEF made it possible:
The first dam is constructed to give a future home
for Nepal´s endangered turtles as an independent
lake for conservation issues. Photos: Tanka Bhattarai

2

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

Finally – in time for the World Turtle Day – the dam is constructed and the lake is being filled

3

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

Project review on Budo Holi Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre in SE-Nepal
After 25 years working with Nepal for the study and conservation of amphibians and reptiles, ARCONepal (Amphibian and Reptile Conservation-Nepal is the first association founded and dedicated for
research and conservation on Nepal´s herpetofauna) reached its main target to collaborate directly with
the government authorities in the realization of an active turtle conservation program. About 15 years
ago first planning details for a turtle conservation centre were made for Chitwan National Park and
realized by the Nepali government, Dpt. National Parks & Wildlife (see www.arco-nepal.de).
Arco-Nepal now is glad to have received after many years application the chance for constructing a
Turtle Rescue and Conservation Centre (TRCC) in Sanichare/Jhapa district, SE Nepal. In April 2012 a
Memorandum of Understanding had been signed between ARCO-Nepal and SUMMEF (Sukhani
Martyrs Memorial Foundation) both collaborating as joint venture partners. The project had been
accepted by all national authorities and planning started immediately after agreement. After the
planning phases and accepted cost evaluations, international fund raising activities commenced and
allowed the start of first constructions this May 2013.
Nepal has a potential of 17 turtle species although only 14 are proven so far for their occurrence in the
lower subtropical parts of the country.
The TRCC will be settled in a forested recreation park donated from the Nepali government to the
Local Community District where in honour of the first martyrs for the fight of democracy, are placed
their statues. The whole 22 ha big area is fenced and protected by gates and guardians. A small river
drains the former abandoned wetland and a big dammed lake had been filled up last year, serving now
for fishing, boating and other recreational facilities.
The TRCC shall receive an independent but attached dammed artificial lake of more than 1,000 sqm, a
dammed pond of 260 sqm. In an area of approx. 3,500 sqm, to be fenced finally and partly forested,
several 40 sqm sized pools and various breeding and rearing ponds will be constructed. A central
building for visitors, guests, laboratory etc., an education centre and perhaps a worshipping place shall
become installed, too.
The TRCC shall serve for rescue of confiscated specimens and as breeding centre for Nepal´s
endangered turtle species as well as training and education centre for the conservation and protection
of turtle wildlife.
By H. Hermann Schleich for Arco-Nepal. c/o Arco-Instituto y Nucelo Zoológico, E-04200
Tabernas/Almería, Spain; ([email protected]).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fieldguide of Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal – Now available
Send your order by [email protected]

Field Guide
to
Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal
By Kästle, W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.
2013

Size A 5, 612 pages, 52 plates, 156
color photographs, 180 maps, over
1000 black/white illustrations.
Orders send to:
[email protected]
or to
[email protected]
4

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

News from ARCO-Spain
Eight years after its foundation ARCO-Spain comes closer together. Engaged and enthusiastic English
friends and members and the Spanish and German chair persons came together and helped to form a
comite in spring 2013. By this way Arco-Spain got an own independent email address:
[email protected]
The new board members for ARCO-Spain are as listed below:
A R C O – Anfibios y Reptiles en Conservación
Asociación para la Conservación de Anfibios y Reptiles, reg. No. 3482, NIF G04528774
NUCLEO ZOOLÓIGICO No. 6354, Ctjo. Sol y Vida – Ctra. A 349 / km 1,
E- 04200 Tabernas /Almería / España. Email: [email protected]
Website: “Bienvenido a ARCO-ESPAÑA” en www.arco-nepal.de
Presidencia / Chairpersons
Presidente: Prof. Dr.Hermann Schleich, Tabernas
Vicepresidente: Pepe Bono, E- Las Aneas
Secretaria: Sylvia Geldeard, E- Los Morales
Tesorera: Judith Longhurst, E- El Puntal
Vocal: Geldeard Williams, E- Los Morales
Vocal: Gert Heinrich Wester, D- Landshut
Asesores / Advisory Board
Antonio Gazquez Expósito, E- Tabernas
Terry Gildert, E- Uleila
Emilio González Miras, E- Aguadulce
Jose-M. Rodriguez Linde, E- Almería
Chas Longhurst, E- El Puntal
Henk Zwartepoorte, NL-Rotterdam

We acknowledge the collaboration and
support by Andy & Nadine Highfield
Tortoise trust.org & Jil Martin Fund

Trustee+Editor of Newsletters
Terry Gildert, E- Uleila

ARCO-Spain celebrated its Annual General Membership Meeting
with positive results for the development of turtle conservation at ARCO-Spain premises in Almeria
province.
On Saturday September 14th a beneficial concert will be held at la “Karpa de LAS ERAS” by
“Almeria Strings”
together with an open day at ARCO-España where one can walk through the new installations and get
an information on the conservation work of ARCO as well as an insight at the Herpetofauna
(amphibians and reptiles) of Almería.

5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

6

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

Volunteers Day was a great success –
thanks to all!!

Now, all seven ponds
are cleaned and all
turtles measured,
controlled and released at ARCO-Spain

Please write us your opinion on our conservation issues at email: [email protected]
Or simply post it on facebook at arco-nepal
Editorial: ARCO-Nepal / Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
A publication of ARCO
Copyright free after permission and credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
More about us at :
www.arco-nepal.de
7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013
Job Posting:

Lead Keeper –Turtle Conservation & Rescue Centre at SUMMEF Park.
The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Nepal (ARCO-Nepal reg. soc.) is seeking a lead keeper. This position reports to the
Director of ARCO-Nepal. The position is responsible for animal husbandry and maintenance support at the Turtle Rescue &
Conservation Centre, BudoHoli/Jhapa, South East Nepal.
Salary is fixed to 200 EUR per month. Candidates doing in the frame of this project a ph-thesis can have future improvements after
finalisation such study.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: daily implementation of policies, procedures and protocols to ensure the highest standards
of animal care, facility maintenance, and staff and visitor safety; participation in daily husbandry, medical care, and record-keeping for
the collection; supervision of volunteers as necessary; active participation in workshops, seminars, activities and conferences aimed at
continually improving technical and management skills; participation, in studbooks, education programs etc.; and coordination of
veterinary concerns, marketing, education, maintenance, horticulture andvother efforts of the TRCC, in conjunction with the director.
Contact To DNPWS and Ministry of Forestry are to be maintained, also to locals living around the park area and fishermen, mainly from
the Koshi area.
Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have at least a four-year degree (master) degree in biology-zoology, environmental sciences or
veterinary medicine and experience in successful husbandry and propagation of diverse chelonians and the ability to perform facility
maintenance including plumbing, carpentry and horticulture; the ability to operate mowers, chainsaws and other equipment; computer
skills and the ability to work irregular hours as needed. It is essential that the candidate possess strong organizational and time
management skills, along with excellent communication skills and willingness to interact positively with guests, researchers and other
staff.
Working conditions: Candidate must be able to work outdoors and in inclement weather conditions. And realizing his normal daily
work at the SUMMEF Recreational Park & Nature Reserve (Sanichare)
Objective: Development of the Budoholi Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre and ph-thesis on same topic
Further, ARCO-Nepal expects from the person to be employed:





Basics
To write and submit monthly detailed report documented also by jpg-photos in quality to be published
To communicate in the requested way by mail and/or verbal
To leave items being purchased for the project as part of project or ARCO properties and to maintain in proper conditions
Tasks

to protocol exactly and detailed the status quo before commencement of the project, then with the development of the project and its
finalisation for having real parameters fixed to discuss what is positive, negative, where are improvements or deteriorations and how will
be proved and realized sustainability for future etc.
The candidate also should start immediately with contacts to locals and fishermen and try to get asap first turtle breeding colonies
together also if there are to make some enclosures provisionally etcListing of all activities of third parties and of SUMMEF regarding the project development









to start immediately with questionairs at the surrounding villages
to record any available information related to the project
detailed biological mapping and sustainable data documentation of existant fauna and flora (whole fauna from invertebrates to
vertebrates with according seasonality changes)
to record any manipulation of physical and biological parameters of the project area (eg. excavations, water deviations,
sedimentation, any impact by men of course also on plants and animals, (existing agriculture, land use, use of medical plants
from that area, introduction or catching of fishes)
record any presence of live turtles at any time of the year at the project site or close by vicinities
to secure the belongings at the TRCC and those of ARCO-Nepal
to inform any hazardous impact immediately to SUMMEF and ARCO

To apply for this position, please submit a Curriculum Vitae and cover letter to
Prof. Dr. Kaluram Rai or directly to [email protected] by August 15.
www. [email protected]

Arco-Nepal acknowledges the collaboration with Milan Kharel for the year 2012 and conveys best wishes for his future work.

8

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2013

–ARCO Newsletter no.05-

CONTENT
 Construction of second smaller lake soon finalized
 Next steps at the Budo Holi TRCC – the breeding and rearing unit
 Ideas for the Education Centre
 Fieldguide of Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal – 625 pp, coloured, b/w drawings
 ARCO-Spain celebrated its First Open Day Event with great success
 Job-Posting for our Turtle & Rescue Centre at SE-Nepal

....
….
….
….
.…
.…

1
3
4
5
6
8

Construction of second smaller
lake soon finalized

A triangular shape following an existent depression in the project area is undug and being used
with a new –now 2nd dam construction at the project area- to form another artificial lake of
approx.. 260 sqm.
1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013
ARCO-Nepal & SUMMEF constructed a big dammed lake at SUMMEF Park in SE-Nepal for the Turtle
Rescue & Conservation Program with approx. > 1000 sqm

In 2012 the big main lake of the SUMMEF Recreation Park & Nature Reserve has been filled
completely replacing the formerly abused wetland area. Here were released the first rescued and
translocated terrapins and Softshell turtles during last years´ acitivities. Finally two dams will be
constructed for the turtle conservation centre – only this year´ s early onset of monsoon rains stopped
the construction works.

Now this second dam for a smaller lake of approx. 260 sqm is almost finalized.

The dark area in the rear shows a forested Sal wood area, the limit of the park´s boundary. The midline
forms the new dam for the triangular lake area in front of the picture. (all photos: Tanka Battarai)
2

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

In November 2013 the efforts of SUMMEF made it possible: The second dam is constructed to allow
more turtles a future home and better separation of the various species as another independent lake for
the conservation issues.
The TRCC shall receive an independent but attached dammed artificial lake of more than 1,000 sqm,
a dammed pond of 260 sqm. In an area of approx. 3,500 sqm, to be fenced finally and partly forested,
several 40 sqm sized pools and various breeding and rearing ponds will be constructed. A central
building for visitors, guests, laboratory etc., an education centre and perhaps a worshipping place shall
become installed, too.

Next steps at the Budo Holi TRCC – the breeding and rearing unit
The existing rearing and breeding area at Chitwan National Park turned out to be useful for that
purpose and we try to take over that idea by constructing 6 small ponds of 100 x 150 cm and four of
200 x 200 cm. A general depth of 60 cm shall allow proper catching and handling of specimens and of
course an individually controllable in- and outflow for proper and easy filling with fresh water and
emptying for cleaning and disinfection are the basic conditions. The whole area must be fenced with
strong chicken mesh wire against predators being dug into the ground till 30 cm and also the roof and
lateral sides have to receive the same protection and natural grasses for giving shade partially. Each
pool must be fenced individually and have a simple but proper door together with a small pathway or
service corridor appropriate for reaching both sides of the tanks.We do have the idea, concept and the
place – but clearly spoken – we need also some help from your side – with some donations to make
this rearing and breeding area a reality!!!!!!!!

One of the hatchlings´ and rearing ponds at Kasarah/C N P

¡¡¡Make your Donation Now!!!
Vote for Turtle Conservation and
support our project in SE Nepal
that we can continue with our
project development for rescuing,
homing and breeding endangered
turtle species of Nepal:
Account/Kto.-Nr. 1000099984
BIC
SSKMDEMMXXX
Bank/Credit Institute:
Stadtsparkasse München
BLZ 70150000
IBAN DE95701500001000099984
3

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

Ideas for the Education Centre

A former picnic shelter has
been given from SUMMEF for
the TRCC project development
and will be converted in an

Education Centre
The physical units shall be realized by
 Conversion of the existing Picnic shelter into an Education Centre
 Didactical open air course with explicative panels at the tortoises´ reserve
Education Programs at the TRCC &
Education at Schools of S-Nepal e.g.:
x Learn, Study and describe the
different activities at a TRCC and
about serious scientific work
x Life of Turtles
x Turtles in our History and Religion
x Turtles and Superstition
x How to eat what once is believed
to be part of the cosmogenesis
x Turtles of the World
x Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal

4

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

FIELD GUIDE
to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal
Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H.
with identification keys and distribution maps, Size A 5, 625 pages,
52 pl./156 color photographs, 177 maps, over 1000 black/white illustrations
Nepali & English

Published 2013 by ARCO-Nepal e.V.
Contents
page
Foreword
VI
Arco-Nepal
XV
1. Introduction
2
2. The strange ways of amphibians and
reptiles (general biology)
7
2.1 Position among vertebrates – Coldblooded?
7
2.2 Saving vital energy
7
2.3 The conquest of firm land
11
2.4 Suckers and gliders – Specialists in
locomotion
19
2.5 Strange senses
21
2.6 Loud and silent signals
25
2.7 Rejuvenation and organ replacement 29
3. Snakebites – Not an attack, but an
accident - Avoidance and treatment
31
3.1 The venom apparatus
31
3.2 Snakebite incidence
37
3.3 Graded toxicity
37
3.4 The venomous snakes of Nepal
39
3.5 First symptoms of snakebite
43
3.6 Local and systemic effects
45
3.7 First aid for snakebites
47
3.8 Dont´s in case of snakebites
51
3.9 How to avoid snakebite
53
4. Geography of amphibians and reptiles
in Nepal
55
4.1 Nepal’s natural landscapes
55
4.2 Key events for South Asia’s
biogeography
57

4.3 Radiation centres and ecological
niches
59
4.4 Protected areas and their
herpetofauna
61
5. Collecting and Preparation
89
5.1 Catching
89
5.2 Handling herps
93
5.3 Live transport
97
5.4 Killing and preservation
99
6. Scientific names and systematics
103
7. Checklist of Nepalese amphibians and
reptiles
108
8. Keys to Nepalese amphibians and
reptiles
115
9. Colour plates
227
10. Distribution maps
284
11. Special part: identification, biology,
geography
317
12. Herpetological Terminology
566
12.1 English-Nepali
566
12.2 English explanations
576
13. General Readings
584
14. References
585
14.1 Literature references
585
14.2 External links
587
14.3 Personal communication
588
14.4 References for redrawn text figures 588
15. Index
589
15.1 Scientific denominations
589
15.2 Nepali denominations
597
15.3 English denominations
60

Send your order to
[email protected] or [email protected]
Price: 68.- EUR + postage 12 EUR within Europe, + 24 EUR outside Europe
We deliver only upon prepayment on our account:
Nr. 1000099984
BIC SSKMDEMMXXX
IBAN DE95701500001000099984
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München, BLZ 70150000
5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

News from ARCO-Spain
ARCO-Spain celebrated its First Open Day Event on October 5th 2013 &
the inauguration of the
Centro de Interpretación de Anfibios y Reptiles de Almería
The first Interpretation Centre for Amphibians and Reptiles had been inaugurated by the Mayoress of
Tabernas Ma. Nieves Jaen Franco in the morning and was followed by several guided tours by Emilio
Gonzalez, Hermann Schleich and Sylvia Geldeard. This open day at ARCO-España where one could
walk through the new installations and get an information on the conservation work of ARCO as well
as an insight of the Herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) of Almería received a very positive
feedback from all.
Acknowledgements is given for the great help during the whole day by Ana, Ali, Bill, Chas, Gert,
Judy, Sylvia and Terry!!
There were about 250 visitors joining that day cumulating in a great evening program for over 80
booked guests, organized by our member Terry Gildert for the music entertainment and Antonio
Gazquez Exposito for dinner.
The beneficial concert in the evening a was held at la “Carpa de LAS ERAS” with performance of
traditional American music by “Almeria Strings” where 7 excellent musicians and a superb diner
sponsored by our member Antonio Gazquez left an unforgettable day for all.
Inauguration Ceremony at ARCO-España/Spain for the new Interpretation Centre of
Amphibians and Reptiles of Almería

Gracias a nuestro gran amigo y socio Antonio
6
....... and to all the other unnamed helpers, our
marvelous musicians and all visitors who joined
in and assisted in making it a really great day!!!

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013

-----------------------------------------A R C O – Anfibios y Reptiles en Conservación
Asociación para la Conservación de Anfibios y Reptiles, reg. No. 3482, NIF G04528774
NUCLEO ZOOLÓIGICO No. 6354, Ctjo. Sol y Vida – Ctra. A 349 / km 1,
E- 04200 Tabernas /Almería / España. Email: [email protected]
Website: “Bienvenido a ARCO-ESPAÑA” en www.arco-nepal.de
Editorial: ARCO-Nepal / Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
A publication of ARCO
Copyright free after permission and credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 04, June 2013
Job Posting:

Lead Keeper –Turtle Conservation & Rescue Centre at SUMMEF Park.
The Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Nepal (ARCO-Nepal reg. soc.) is seeking a lead keeper. This position reports to the
Director of ARCO-Nepal. The position is responsible for animal husbandry and maintenance support at the Turtle Rescue &
Conservation Centre, BudoHoli/Jhapa, South East Nepal.
Salary is fixed to 200 EUR per month. Candidates doing in the frame of this project a ph-thesis can have future improvements after
finalisation such study.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: daily implementation of policies, procedures and protocols to ensure the highest standards
of animal care, facility maintenance, and staff and visitor safety; participation in daily husbandry, medical care, and record-keeping for
the collection; supervision of volunteers as necessary; active participation in workshops, seminars, activities and conferences aimed at
continually improving technical and management skills; participation, in studbooks, education programs etc.; and coordination of
veterinary concerns, marketing, education, maintenance, horticulture andvother efforts of the TRCC, in conjunction with the director.
Contact To DNPWS and Ministry of Forestry are to be maintained, also to locals living around the park area and fishermen, mainly from
the Koshi area.
Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have at least a four-year degree (master) degree in biology-zoology, environmental sciences or
veterinary medicine and experience in successful husbandry and propagation of diverse chelonians and the ability to perform facility
maintenance including plumbing, carpentry and horticulture; the ability to operate mowers, chainsaws and other equipment; computer
skills and the ability to work irregular hours as needed. It is essential that the candidate possess strong organizational and time
management skills, along with excellent communication skills and willingness to interact positively with guests, researchers and other
staff.
Working conditions: Candidate must be able to work outdoors and in inclement weather conditions. And realizing his normal daily
work at the SUMMEF Recreational Park & Nature Reserve (Sanichare)
Objective: Development of the Budoholi Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre and ph-thesis on same topic
Further, ARCO-Nepal expects from the person to be employed:





Basics
To write and submit monthly detailed report documented also by jpg-photos in quality to be published
To communicate in the requested way by mail and/or verbal
To leave items being purchased for the project as part of project or ARCO properties and to maintain in proper conditions
Tasks

to protocol exactly and detailed the status quo before commencement of the project, then with the development of the project and its
finalisation for having real parameters fixed to discuss what is positive, negative, where are improvements or deteriorations and how will
be proved and realized sustainability for future etc.
The candidate also should start immediately with contacts to locals and fishermen and try to get asap first turtle breeding colonies
together also if there are to make some enclosures provisionally etcListing of all activities of third parties and of SUMMEF regarding the project development









to start immediately with questionairs at the surrounding villages
to record any available information related to the project
detailed biological mapping and sustainable data documentation of existant fauna and flora (whole fauna from invertebrates to
vertebrates with according seasonality changes)
to record any manipulation of physical and biological parameters of the project area (eg. excavations, water deviations,
sedimentation, any impact by men of course also on plants and animals, (existing agriculture, land use, use of medical plants
from that area, introduction or catching of fishes)
record any presence of live turtles at any time of the year at the project site or close by vicinities
to secure the belongings at the TRCC and those of ARCO-Nepal
to inform any hazardous impact immediately to SUMMEF and ARCO

To apply for this position, please submit a Curriculum Vitae and cover letter to
[email protected]
www. [email protected]

8

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2014

–ARCO Newsletter no.06-

CONTENT
 Planning for Breeding & Rearing Centre finalized
 Planning for simple workshop finalized
 Progress Report in the building of ARCO-Nepal Turtle Rescue & Conservation
Centre Budo Holi in SE-Nepal
 Fieldguide of Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal – 625 pp, coloured, b/w drawings
 ARCO-Spain -Loss of a great friend, member, chief editor, volunteer & trustee

.... 1
…. 4
…. 5
…. 7
.… 8

New in 2014:
Construction of Breeding
& Rearing Centre cum
Open air workshop

1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

Breeding &
Rearing Ponds at
the new TRCC
A nine by twelve meter
area shall be used for
the construction of
eight small ponds.
Six of them with sizes
of approx.. 120 x 140
cm outer size and 60 cm
deep should serve for
keeping smaller species
in quarantine, for
breeding purpose or for
rearing of hatchlings till
they reach sizes
appropriate for being
released to outdoor
enclosures
Two of them for mating
purposes of softshells
being built in bigger
size of 220 x 140 cm.
All of them must
receive small antiescape fencing and a
surrounding part of land
for egg laying and
basking.

To the left is shown
one of the breeding and
rearing ponds at
Kasarah – Chitwan
National Park which
seem useful for keeping
single aggressive
specimens or smaller
ones for mating and
breeding as well for
rising hatchlings under
climatically almost
natural conditions
2

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

Schematic three-dimensional view for construction of breeding ponds

Most grateful we
acknowledge that
great collaboration
and contribution
again to
D. Diego Tovar
Who already
helped in the early
phase of planning
with his architecttural advices

¡¡¡¡Make your Donation Now!!!! Vote for Turtle
Conservation and support our project in SE Nepal
that we can continue with our project development
for rescuing, homing and breeding endangered
turtle species of Nepal:
Account/Kto.-Nr. 1000099984
BIC SSKMDEMMXXX
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München
IBAN DE95701500001000099984
---------------------------------------------------------------Editorial: ARCO-Nepal / Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
A publication of ARCO
Copyright free after permission and credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
More about us at :
www.arco-nepal.de

3

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

Construction of simple Workshop
under open air conditions

Above: Details for the construction of an
open workshop area closely attached to the breeding
and rearing unit
Right: D. Diego Tovar and D. Jose Maria Rodriguez
Linde, both living in Almeria (S-Spain) are working as
collaborators and members of Arco-Nepal for the
detailed planning of the Turtle Rescue and Conservation
Centre at Budo Holi / Jhapa – S-Nepal.
ARCO-Nepal commits many thanks for their infatigable
contribution and help.
4

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

Progress Report in the building of ARCO-Nepal Turtle Rescue & Conservation
Centre Budo Holi in SE-Nepal:
Termination of small lake (270 sqm) and three ponds for terrapins and softshells

Prof. Dr. Khambu Rai Initiator and founder
spirit of the Budo Holi Nature Reserve
Here accompanied by a helper shown at the
artificial lake at the reservoir

Another artificial lake becoming realized
for the conservation project
Prof. Rai accompanied by new ARCO
collaborator Nabin Battarai and SUMMEF
representants Mr. Tanka Battarai and Dinesh
Karna
5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

Heavy project work had been realized during the last
months by employing local people for excavation and
cementation work for the new ponds and small lake.
Heavy iron armouring, plastic lining and concrete
plastering shall give long durability to the installations.

6

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

FIELD GUIDE
to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal
Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H.
with identification keys and distribution maps, Size A 5, 625 pages,
52 pl./156 color photographs, 177 maps, over 1000 black/white illustrations
Nepali & English

Published 2013 by ARCO-Nepal e.V.
Contents
page
Foreword
VI
Arco-Nepal
XV
1. Introduction
2
2. The strange ways of amphibians and
reptiles (general biology)
7
2.1 Position among vertebrates – Coldblooded?
7
2.2 Saving vital energy
7
2.3 The conquest of firm land
11
2.4 Suckers and gliders – Specialists in
locomotion
19
2.5 Strange senses
21
2.6 Loud and silent signals
25
2.7 Rejuvenation and organ replacement 29
3. Snakebites – Not an attack, but an
accident - Avoidance and treatment
31
3.1 The venom apparatus
31
3.2 Snakebite incidence
37
3.3 Graded toxicity
37
3.4 The venomous snakes of Nepal
39
3.5 First symptoms of snakebite
43
3.6 Local and systemic effects
45
3.7 First aid for snakebites
47
3.8 Dont´s in case of snakebites
51
3.9 How to avoid snakebite
53
4. Geography of amphibians and reptiles
in Nepal
55
4.1 Nepal’s natural landscapes
55
4.2 Key events for South Asia’s
biogeography
57

4.3 Radiation centres and ecological
niches
59
4.4 Protected areas and their
herpetofauna
61
5. Collecting and Preparation
89
5.1 Catching
89
5.2 Handling herps
93
5.3 Live transport
97
5.4 Killing and preservation
99
6. Scientific names and systematics
103
7. Checklist of Nepalese amphibians and
reptiles
108
8. Keys to Nepalese amphibians and
reptiles
115
9. Colour plates
227
10. Distribution maps
284
11. Special part: identification, biology,
geography
317
12. Herpetological Terminology
566
12.1 English-Nepali
566
12.2 English explanations
576
13. General Readings
584
14. References
585
14.1 Literature references
585
14.2 External links
587
14.3 Personal communication
588
14.4 References for redrawn text figures 588
15. Index
589
15.1 Scientific denominations
589
15.2 Nepali denominations
597
15.3 English denominations
60

Send your order to
[email protected] or [email protected]
Price: 68.- EUR + postage 12 EUR within Europe, + 24 EUR outside Europe
We deliver only upon prepayment on our account:
Nr. 1000099984
BIC SSKMDEMMXXX
IBAN DE95701500001000099984
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München, BLZ 70150000
7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 06, February 2014

A R C O – SPAIN
Anfibios y Reptiles en Conservación
Asociación para la Conservación de Anfibios y Reptiles, reg. No. 3482, NIF G04528774

INSTITUTO Y NUCLEO ZOOLOGICO No. 6354, Ctjo. Sol y Vida – Ctra. A 349 /
km 1, E- 04200 Tabernas /Almería / España. Email: [email protected]
January 2014, Special Issue

Mourning for a
Great Friend, Wonderful Person Trustee & Editor of ARCO-Es, Member & Enthusiastic Volunteer

Terry became member to ARCO-Spain in 2013 and immediately took over responsibility, weekly
volunteer work and collaboration, brought spirit and activities as chief-editor for our newsletter,
acted as fundraiser and trustee, coordinator and organizer for first volunteers days and
unforgettable our first and successful 1st open day event on October 5th, 2013.
Terry was the person to put hands on, helping mentally and physically with ideas, patience, great
humor and own independent most helpful contributions
….and never having any a bad word for anyone or anything
………….. For the Open Day Event & Inauguration of Centro de Interpretacíón de
Anfibios y Reptiles de la Provincia de Almería TERRY greatly collaborated to its development
and success……
…….what we never forget and acknowledge every day having spent together
It was a long term desire and effort to reach –
TERRY started as chief editor our first official newsletter and gave it format and appearance
Terry always was much and more than welcome to all of his friends –
and he had many of us
– he left us with only 58 years much too early
Assemblage meetings, volunteers day, preparation work, ....whatever TERRY was always with
us and will it always be

IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS
8

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2014

–ARCO Newsletter no.07-

¡¡¡We need your Help now!!!
Make your donation or just join
ARCO-Nepal as a member for only
EURO 2.50 per month
M embership Declaration on our website!!
-and on Facebook –
just fill the file and send us by mail

¡¡¡¡Make your Donation Now!!!! Vote for Turtle Conservation and support our project in SE
Nepal that we can continue with our project development for rescuing, homing and breeding
endangered turtle species of Nepal:
Account/Kto.-Nr. 1000099984
BIC S S KMDEMMXXX
Bank/Credit Institute: S tadtsparkasse München
BLZ 70150000
IBAN DE95701500001000099984

Table of Contents


Visit to Budo Holi Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre (TRCC) in
February 2014 - a progress report

..... 1



Pending construction works towards a finalization of the TRCC

….. 4



General implementation of construction units at BudoHoli TRCC
and views of the main building

….. 6



First Breeding Report of Indotestudo at Chitwan National Park

….. 7



Geographic Distribution Records

…. 11

In February 2014 the new Field Guide Book on Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal (625 pp in
Nepali & English) had been launched successfully. S pecial price offers exist for S AARC countries and Nepali students.

1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

Visit to Budo Holi Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre (TRCC) in February
2014 – an illustrated progress report

Landing on 15th February in Nepal a very
cordial welcome was given to ARCO-Nepal
president Hermann Schleich by our Nepali
counterparts SUM M EF president Devraj
Ghimire, Kaluram Rai and Nabin Bhattarai.
Having arrived at the project site a huge group
of local neighboring village people received
ARCO president with garlands and bunches
of flowers showing their acceptance and
integration of the Turtle conservation project
as most important part for a sustainable future
and common understanding

Nothing looked anymore as it was seen at our last visit and construction work was partially completed,
ongoing or being started for the new construction units. Improvements and minor modifications had
been finalized in continuous work days and all ponds had at day of our departure been done.

2

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

M easurements taking and perimeter fixation for breeding centre (left) and central building (right)

Three finalized ponds can be seen, the one in the background serving for quarantine

The middle rear part of the photo shows the entrance area from SUM M EF Nature & recreation park to
the TRCC. The blue covered shelter in the middle will be converted into the education centre with a
nature walk. The photo to the right below shows finalization with anti-escape fencing and areas for
palustrine and aquatic plants
3

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

Pending Construction Works towards finalization
¡¡¡URGENTLY NEEDED!!!
Your collaboration and donation
for realizing the finalfencing of
the BudoHoli - TRCC
We need general security fencing
for 170 meters with several courses
of brick from ground level,
reinforced concrete poles, meshwire
and barbed wire to protect the whole
area from any type of destructive
intruders ………….
your donation: EUR 6.600.We need anti-escape fencing around
all built enclosures for the different
types of turtles and tortoises
…………
The photo shows the bigger
artificial lake of the TRCC (before
filling) but also all the smaller
ponds, the smaller lake and the
enclosures for the tortoises as well
as for the quarantine areas need
same type of anti-escape fencing
your donation: EUR 2.500.-

…and we need in- or underwater
separation fencing within the 260
sqm lake to build 8 big sized
compartments
for
aggressive
softshells (Chitra, Nilsonia spp.) or
bigger sized terrapins like Batagur or
Hardella + circumferal fencing
your donation: EUR 800.can make it possible

4

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

The Education Centre can be finalized with your contribution:
we need EUR 5.500.We need EUR 2.500.…for restoring the building and
preparing it with beams and
panels for fixation of the 32
weatherproofed 100 x 100 cm
posters for in- and outside
……. and we need another
EUR 3.000.-

Shown is the existing former picnic shelter which needs a
new roof and horizontal beams for supportingthe panels

…..for the nature path at our
TRCC with 20 posters and
roofed metal stands on the
amphibians & reptiles of Nepal

The TRCCEducation Centre
with following units:



Exhibition



Didactical Nature Walk



M obile Education Unit

The physical units of the education centre shall be realized by
• Conversion of the existing Picnic shelter into an Education Centre
• Didactical open air course with explicative panels at the tortoises´ reserve
• “Travelling suitcase” with information material to be brought to schools in Terai
• A mobile education unit set up in a suitcase to be used at the various schools and institutes
containing the exhibition parts with its general information for education and conservation
Thirteen panels of 100 x 100 cm will fit inside the first hall and four more in the outer (photo to the left).
Also another thirteen will be mounted outside – all of them telling the Natural History of turtles of Nepal
also its significance in para-medicine, religion and superstition.
5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

General implementation of construction units at
BudoHoli TRCC
General implementation of
construction units at TRCC
@ SUMMEF Nature Park
Legend
Blue: lakes & ponds for
softshells and terrapins
Turquoise: pipeline
Yellow: path ways
Green: outer security fencing
Brown: Construction unitsCentral building
Education Centre
Breeding & Rearing + simple
workshop
Green ovals: Tortoise areas
Dashed line: Nature path
with explicative panels
Concept by ARCO-Nepal
Drawing by
D. Diego Tovar
Roquetas-Almeria

Construction plans incl. three dimensional view realized by D. Diego
Tovar, Roquetas-Almeria/Spain.

The whole construction has to
be set upon a cemented and
iron armored platform with
layers of big pebbles or/and
gravel underlying. This is
extremely necessary to avoid
capillary suction of humidity
into walls and whole building.
Also the platform must
outrange the whole building
for approx.. 150 cm to have dry
walkable area around the
house for visitors and outsideexhibition. The platform must
be elevated above the normal
ground surface to avoid
flooding during monsoon The
roof has to be constructed as
cemented roof with the
necessary beams. Of course all
the walls must be constructed
with good stone quality and
plastered smooth in – and
outside. Windows and door

frames in termite resistant
wood, also furniture and
bear good lockable shutter
units

6

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

First Breeding Report of Indotestudo at Chitwan National Park
Background
A turtle conservation program was launched at the Gharial Conservation Breeding Center (GCBC) in 2000 in Kasarah
Headquarter station of Chitwan National Park (CNP) with the aim to conserve turtle species through a captive program.
Two enclosures have been developed with the help and support of Arco-Nepal (see www.arco-nepal.de), where terrestrial
and aquatic turtles exist in a semi-natural habitat. The size of enclosure for terrestrial species is 25x15 m and for the aquatic
ones 25x15 m. Altogether 7 species are at the centre including 2 terrestrial and 5 aquatic species.

Fig. 1,2: Tortoises rescued by ARCO president Hermann Schleich with help of family Shrestha from a temple in 2002 and
being forwarded to Chitwan National Park
The tortoises have been collected by ARCO-Nepal president and collaborators from a temple in Kathmandu, from a mini
zoo of Hetauda and from the Koshi Tappu River with technical backup from Arco-Nepal. A few specimen could have been
collected and rescued by CNP from nearby villages of CNP.
All specimen delivered to CNP by Arco received individual data sheets as shown in newsletter 05 and had been forwarded
to CNP. The setup of the first turtle conservation program including new maintenance facilities at CNP had been designed
by ARCO-Nepal and realized by late Dr. Tirtha Man Maskey, former Director General.
The turtle conservation program is fully and regular managed by the Government of Nepal since 2000 with a budget of $
750 to $ 1000 allocated each year for feeding and maintenance costs.

Figs. 2,3: Left – area for terrestrial species, right – area for aquatic species, both at its initial phase (photos: H. Schleich)
Aims of the program






to establish a successful captive breeding program.
to introduce and reintroduce turtles in potential habitat sites for maintaining aquatic ecosystems with endangered and
protected species.
to provide facilities for scientific research on the herpetofauna.
to develop a conservation education center
to collect and rescue turtles from nearby human habitations of CNP.

7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014
Captive/Semi-captive Maintenance
The enclosures are big and turtles are roaming around free in the whole area having proper natural vegetation and are
within a natural habitat completely surrounded and integrated in the jungle area.
The seven species kept (details see table below) for breeding include the terrestrial Indotestudo elongata and Melanochelys
tricarinata in one enclosure and the aquatic species like Lissemys punctata, Pangshura flaviventer, Pangshura smithi
smithi, Aspideretes hurum and Melanochelys trijuga are kept separate in an enclosure where two ponds are managed with a
population of 53 turtles.
General observations show more crepuscular activity of the turtles at dawn and dusk. Our terrestrial species as Indotestudo
elongata and Melanochelys tricarinata hibernate fully in colder months (November-February). The aquatic turtles come
out to bask during sunny days of the colder months.
Indotestudo elongata and Melanochelys tricarinata feed on pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo; mature, yellow color which is sweet
in taste) and buffalo meat is also fed once a week for additional protein. During hot days we provide also Chickpea (Cicer
arietinum) being soaked in water one day before. Aquatic turtles feed on natural pond life such as fish and different types
of aquatic plants. Additionally they are fed Buffalo meat thrice a week.

s.n
.

Species

1
.

Terrestrial Species
Elongated tortoise
(Indotestudo elongata)

2
.

Tricarinate hill turtle
(Melanochelys tricarinata)

3
.

Aquatic Species
Indian-flapshell turtle
(Lissemys punctata)

4
.

Number of species

29

2 ♂ ad, 6 ♀ ad,
6 sub-ad 9 juv
and 6 hatchlings

5

2 ♂ ad, 3♀ ad

4

4 ad

Yellow-bellied roofed turtle
(Pangshura flaviventer)

1

ad

5
.

Brown-roofed turtle
(Pangshura smithii smithii)

1

6
.

Indian black turtle
(Melanochelys trijuga)

6

7
.

Indian peacock softshell
turtle (Nilssonia hurum)

7

Total

ad

2♂ ad, 4 ♀ad

7 ad

Food provided

Remarks

Yellow (mature) pumpkin,
chickpea in hotter dry days and
Buffalo meat provided once a
weak.
Yellow (mature) pumpkin,
chickpea in hotter dry days and
Buffalo flesh meat provided once a
weak

CITES II

Live fish and other aquatic flora
and fauna growing in enclosure
and additional buffalo meat fed
thrice a week.
Live fish and other aquatic flora
and fauna growing in enclosure
and additional buffalo meat fed
thrice a week.
Live fish and other aquatic flora
and fauna growing in enclosure
and additional buffalo meat fed
thrice a week.
Live fish and other aquatic flora
and fauna growing in enclosure
and additional buffalo meat fed
thrice a week.
Live fish and other aquatic flora
and fauna growing in enclosure
and additional buffalo meat fed
thrice a week.

CITES II

CITES I

CITES II

CITES II

Not recorded

CITES I

53

Fig. 4: Species and number of specimen actually kept at Kasarah Turtle Breeding Centre Chitwan National Park and type of
feeding. (Editor´s note: ARCO did deliver husbandry and diet plan but the shown practice is not in accordance)

8

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014

Fig. 5,6: Starter group of turtles brought by Arco. A big problem in the beginning was the heavy infestation with
entoparasites in Indotestudo and details of identification and treatment had been forwarded by Arco-country representative
Prof. Dr. K. Rai in 2004 (photos: K.R.Rai).
From mating to hatching
Species listed on table above as nos 3 to 7 are kept in a single enclosure where 2 ponds managed. (Editors note: The lack of
adequate separation of both ponds by a half meter high fence could avoid the migration of the bigger softshells in between
the two ponds and preying on newborns of other terrapins.)
Currently, 25 Indotestudo elongata individuals are kept for breeding in the center. This species has bred since 2004 until
now producing more than 30 eggs. Of the 9 hatchlings born in 2013, 6 are surviving in good healthy condition.
Melanochelys trijuga and Melanochelys tricarinata have reproduced but no hatchlings survived. Indotestudo elongate and
Melanochelys trijuga lay eggs in September/October and hatch naturally with no human interference and no artificial
incubation during heavy rains at monsoon time in July. Most eggs of Melanochelys trijuga were eaten by a predatory
mongoose.

Fig. 7: Clutch of Indotestudo from Bhadrapur TRC

Fig. 8: Hatchlings from CNP, 2013-09; photo:B.Khadka

Generally, mating was observed from 2nd week of May to end of July but peak time of mating is the last week of June. The
records show, that mating took place either early morning before sunrise or in the evening after sunset and which takes an
average of 30 minutes. The play before mating includes a series of chasing the female by the male and striking their shells,
hitting and producing a dhyke-dhyker sound. When they attain the position of intercourse, the male open its mouth
producing sounds like syaerr……, syaerr…….., syaerr…… and the female facilitates ejection by pushing up her sexual
parts or back parts/ventral parts. The paring is so strong that even the appearance of a stranger is not noticed.
In our practice, hatchlings are left with the adults for about 1-2 week after hatching and then all hatchlings are transferred to
another smaller baby-care pen where exists a semi-natural habitat. Hatchlings are fed regularly flower of China rose (Rosa
chinensis) and pumpkin (mature, yellow and sweet) and buffalo meat once a week for additional protein. China rose flower
and pumpkin are accepted as favored food for hatchlings and adult turtles.

9

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014
General observations and problems
Winter activity in the time from December till February concentrates mainly on basking and shows almost no food uptake.
Usually both terrestrial and aquatic turtles showed nocturnal activities. The Melanochelys, though terrestrial in nature,
prefers moist grassland and riverbeds. The Indotestudo is completely terrestrial preferring lowland sal (Shorea robusta) and
mixed forest habitats.
Sanitary problems in the beginning phase were heavy infestation by entoparasites as being shown on fig. From fecal
samples.
Baby turtles are preyed upon by various predators including crocodiles, birds, lizards and snakes. Turtles are everywhere in
decline today being heavily collected and hunted for their meat, shell, skin and eggs as well as use of several traditional
medicines in local communities. Habitat loss is another problem for decreasing turtle populations.
Turtle species chase each other and bite in the food struggle with babies also competing with the adults. So feeding
becomes difficult as well as other activities. In May 2002, one specimen died for this reason.
Conclusions
For a better conservation management and to run a sustainable breeding program following main activities are proposed for
the future of our turtle species:


Construction of hatchlings - rearing enclosures for terrestrial and aquatic species
quarantine station
separation of big softshells in the existing enclosure
monitoring program cum techniques for released specimen



Rescue or collection of turtle species from their natural habitat to receive a proper male and female ratio.



Employing turtle care taker for enclosure sanitation, natural food collection and survey of turtles in their natural
habitat.


Having proper established breeding centres at CNPs and other lowland NPs there shall be no doubt that within a short span
of time, a sustainable turtle conservation program can contribute to the survival of our endangered species.
Readings
1992: Schleich,H.H. & Maskey,T.M.:Der Chitwan Nationalpark im Süden Nepals.- Natur u. Museum, 122(8):248-257
1998: Schleich, H.H. & Maskey, T.M.: Necessity for a Turtle Conservation in Nepal.- Veröffentlichungen FuhlrottMuseum, 4: 281-290
2002: Schleich,H.H. & Kästle, W. (Hrsg.): Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal.- 1201 pp. (A.R.G.Gantner) FL-Ruggell.
2012: Schleich,H.H. & Rai,K.R.: Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal – TURTLES.- pp.32; web: Arco-Nepal.de.
2012: Schleich, H.H.: Turtle Conservation for Nepal´s Endangered Species – Field ID Cards by ARCO-Nepal, 42 pp.
Arco-Nepal, Munich
2013: Kästle, W., Rai, K. & Schleich Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal.- pp 625, ARCO-Nepal, Munich

Author: Bed Khadka, Assistant Warden, Chitwan National Park; [email protected]
English version proof reading gratefully acknowledged to Sylvia Geldeard, secretary Arco-Spain.

Editor’ s note: As we can report from Kasarah Breeding centre at Chitwan National Park (kindly
submitted by Bed Kharka/CNP) several Indotestudo elongata have been bred successfully during last
years. They are offspring from a group that had been brought by ARCO-Nepal to Kasarah 10 years
ago. The adults are roaming with complete natural vegetation and surroundings in one of the open air
enclosures ARCO-Nepal planned for DNPWS at the beginning of the millennium. The offspring have
been reared and raised at the already existing Crocodile Breeding and Rearing Station. Now the time
comes to transfer them to the open air enclosure for observation and adaptation to their planned future
wild life. All individual data sheets of the parental group as well as release suggestions by IUCN and
others had been forwarded to CNP, too.
10

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014
NEW:

Geographic Distribution Records
ARCO-Nepal Newsletter can publish brief notices of new geographic distribution records –as it was e.g. in the
seventies done by the “Herp. Review”—to make them available to the natural science in Nepal in a published
form. Such records are important for range determination and general distribution of species, its biology (and
in case for rare species also for conservation issues). We suggest to apply to a standard format (e.g.: Herp.Rev,
8(4),1977.):




Bi- or tri-nominal scientific name, common name and local names
photographs
Locality (name according to official map or google earth site id, gps data if available or coordinates and
metrics for distance and altitude






Date, time of collection, weather
collector, place of deposition and collection number
number of specimens observed (single –many (?n)
Notes on biology: e.g. basking, feeding, spawning, fighting, hatching etc., other species

Testudines
Melanochelys trijuga (Indian
Black Turtle)
Status: Lower Risk/near
threatened ver 2.3 / CITES II
Rapti River, Kasarah HQ
Collected + photo: 2014 Apr
10
By Bed Kharka, Assistant Warden, Chitwan Nat. Park; [email protected]

Serpentes
Sibynophis collaris, Collared
black headed snake, M ale
kalotauke sap
M ustang, Nepal
latitude, longitude
28.74242897903338
83.68156528420513,
2675 m asl
2005 Sept 4; photographs only
collected
M arpha, M ustang
By Mukesh K. Chalise, PhD, Central Dept. Zoology, Tribhuvan University; [email protected]

11

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 07, April 2014
Psammodynastes pulverulentus,
Langtang Khola, Nepal
latitude, longitude
28.20827798552508,
85.5626134830527
3775 m asl
2005 Oct 1; photographs only collected

By Mukesh K. Chalise, PhD, Central Dept. Zoology, Tribhuvan University; [email protected]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Without your generous donations, we would not have already achieved what has
been done so far. We would like to express our acknowledgment and
THANK YOU!!!
(mentioned below are donations received of 200 EUROS and more)
British Chelonian Group
Herpetofauna Foundation, NL
W. Kaestle
NBS V Nederland
H.M. Pichler
Van Rossem
Rutherford, Bristol
S tudbook Foundation, Klaaswaal
Turtle S urvival Alliance Europe

Please write us your opinion on our conservation issues at email: [email protected]
or to Prof. Dr. Kaluram Rai ([email protected]) - Or simply post it on facebook at arconepal
Editorial: ARCO-Nepal / Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
A publication of ARCO
Copyright free after permission and credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
M ore about us at :
www.arco-nepal.de

Don´t forget:

Arco-Spain has its own independent email address:
[email protected]
and its recently established website:
www.arco-spain.org
12

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2014

–ARCO Newsletter no.08--

¡¡¡We need your Help now!!!
Make your donation or just join
ARCO-Nepal as a member for only
EURO 2.50 per month
Membership Declaration on our website!!
-and on Facebook –
just fill the form and send us by mail

¡¡¡¡Make your Donation Now!!!! Vote for Turtle Conservation and support our project in
SE Nepal that we can continue with our project development for rescuing, homing and breeding
endangered turtle species of Nepal:
Account/Kto.-Nr. 1000099984
BIC SSKMDEMMXXX
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München
BLZ 70150000
IBAN DE95701500001000099984

Table of Contents
 Video of the ARCO-Nepal project now on YouTube

..... 1

 Turtle survival is becoming just a question of extinction?

….. 2

 Your donations helped to finalize anti-escape fencing for our turtle sanctuary!

….. 5

 The Education Centre still can be finalized and awaits your contribution

….. 7

 Kechana Jhil and Kechana Kalan – important cultural place
and turtle wetland habitat

….. 8

 One more book to help Nepal’ s peoples in cases of snakebites, education
and for proper snake identification!

…. 9

 First release of captivity bred turtles at Chitwan National Park

.… 10

Video of the ARCO-Nepal project now on You Tube
Every Euro or Dollar is wanted for crowdfunding! Please go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWZtEJkv90I
1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

Turtle survival is becoming just a question of extinction?
Several excursions to potential turtle habitats were carried out in summer this year (2014) by the
ARCO-TRCC reperesentative Nabin Bhattarai and yielded most updated information on the
conservation status of turtles in an area of SE Nepal.
A place visited amongst others is situated about 20-25 km SW of the TRCC project area. This,
Chillagad lake, is seen as a natural lake for very many years and also a holy place for Hindu people.
There is a lady priest (see photo below) who is worshipping daily since 2025 BS (1968), according to
her there were 4 types of turtles but these days there is only one type Lissemys punctata surviving. At
the beginning of her duty, there was a very dense forest and she added that at that time there lived
tricarinate hill turtle (Melanochelys tricarinata) and yellow headed turtle (Indotestudo elongata) in the
surroundings.
Close to this particular locality runs Kankai mai, a big river system of east Nepal after Koshi river,
which is only 500 m far from this lake so there might be chances to discover other species too what
needs more frequent observation.

Chillagad Lake

2

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014
This is the place where
Lissemys
punctata
and
Indotestudo are kept for their
own interest only. But they
told that they received some
money from animal catchers
(actually poachers) when
those people want to kill
turtles for their flesh. They
kept Lissemys in small ditch
shown below and Indotestudo in an enclosure together
with guinea-pigs and rabbits,
and they used to feed rice to
both mammals and turtles.

I myself found Lissemys still more abundant during my field trips but this was the first time I saw
Indotestudo (except Chitwan NP and TCC Bhadrapur). I tried to convince them to give that tortoise to
us but still decision is pending as they requested some money from us.

3

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014
Another but not live record was the 5 year
old shell of an Indotestudo which was
found in a settler´s house at Kankai river
bank. The house owner told me that he
has collected from the local poacher, he
also added that the poacher collected it
from the Jungle which is 4-5 km distant.
According to their experience the
population of the Indotestudo is sharply in
decline these days that is due to
overcollection and habitat destruction by
deforestation and losses of bushy area in
the forest.
This school girl is carrying the shell of a
Lissemys. Her father killed this species a
week before when he found it on his paddy
field ploughing for plantation. I have
convinced the girl´s mother and finally she
donated it free for teaching and demonstration purpose at our TRCC lab.
I have visited many places of Jhapa district
and adjacent districts, sometimes I saw live
Lissemys but too often only their shells in
hands of local people – testimony of being
used as food item.
Concluding these observations means here in
Jhapa, there is very much emerging danger to
Lissemys and this species is being first choice
of poachers for its meat.
We must focus on this species also in our
conservation issues because it might be much
depleted in number or even lost within future
years in Nepal.

By: Nabin Bhattarai, TRCC Sanichare, Arco-Nepal

Your donations helped to finalize anti-escape fencing for our turtle sanctuary!
We are very grateful and pleased to mention
donations (alphabetically) by
Gifkins, Mr.&Mrs

¡¡¡URGENTLY NEEDED!!!
Your collaboration and donation
for realizing the final fencing of
the whole BudoHoli - TRCC
4
We need general security fencing
for 170 meters with several courses
of brick from ground level,

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014
Herpetofauna Foundation
Pichler Mario
Pandey Prasad
Rutherford Douglas
Turtle Survival Alliance Europe

Two of the ponds built in 2014 at the TRCC

5

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

The new tortoise enclosure at TRCC
The tortoise enclosure in its final
stage, being fenced and supplied
with drinking water dishes, sand
baths and natural vegetation ready
to receive Indotestudo and Melanochelys tricarinata

Two of the three finalized artificial ponds measuring each approx. 40-60 sqm below.

All photos: NabinBhattarai / TRCC-ARCO-Nepal

6

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

The Education Centre still can be finalized and awaits your contribution
we need EUR 5.500.We need EUR 2.500.…for restoring the building and
preparing it with beams and
panels for fixation of the 32
weatherproofed 100 x 100 cm
posters for in- and outside
……. and we need another
EUR 3.000.-

Shown is the existing former picnic shelter which needs a
new roof and horizontal beams for supporting the panels

…..for the nature path at our
TRCC with 20 posters and
roofed metal stands on the
amphibians & reptiles of Nepal

The TRCCEducation Centre
with following units:


Exhibition



Didactical Nature Walk



Mobile Education Unit

The physical units of the education centre shall be realized by
• Conversion of the existing Picnic shelter into an Education Centre
• Didactical open air course with explicative panels at the tortoises´ reserve
• “Travelling suitcase” with information material to be brought to schools in Terai
• A mobile education unit set up in a suitcase to be used at the various schools and institutes
containing the exhibition parts with its general information for education and conservation
Thirteen panels of 100 x 100 cm will fit inside the first hall and four more in the entrance area.
And another thirteen will be mounted outside – all of them telling the Natural History of turtles
of Nepal also its significance in para-medicine, religion and superstition.

7

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

Kechana Jhil and Kechana Kalan –
important cultural place and turtle wetland habitat

By
Nabin Bhattarai

This Kechana Kalan is the border place to India and the lowest
altitude (58 m) of Nepal. Wet land is seen on the periphery of this
area. At this place a pillar had been constructed during the regime
of King Mahendra. The pillar is placed above a turtle shell. Some
local people told that the turtle and King both are symbolic forms
of god Vishnu. So the king has set such monument in this area as
others told that this is the place for turtle and so he kindly established
that construction. King Mahendra also gave his name to the famous
King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (KMTNC).
During my visit, I was talking to more than 30 persons about the
wetland of Kechana area and its situation for turtles.

TRCC-Representative

Arco-Nepal

In the past there was a very big natural pond at Kechana a small market place. Now this natural pond is
divided into 7 big and 2 small ponds for fish farming by the Village development committee (VDC).
This is the boarder market at the Indian frontier and lies 3 km S and 1 km E.
Nowadays turtles are sold at this market only occasionally but it was a regular item 7-8 years before.
Local fishermen of this area stated that Lissemys punctata and Melanochelys trijuga can be found in
this natural pond (according presentation of ARCO's turtle poster for identification). Also Nilssonia
hurum and gangetica are thought being still common species in the 5-6 ft deep Mechi river. But this is
not a confirmed result however we hope that there are still chances for these species to be found in that
area, what also had been documented by Prof. K. Rai.
Five contacted persons from that area promised to collaborate informing us when fishermen collect
those turtle species.
Nowadays the turtle situation is deteriorating in Kechana Kalan because most of indigenous people
living here collect and eat the turtle whenever they can find. But happily the collection frequency is
very low in these days. Except Muslims all people kill turtle for meat as food item.
For our TRCC at Sanichare some aquatic plants including big sized lotus (Nelumbo) were transferred
form here and visits will continuously be repeated.
For the future we are planning to realize awareness programs for local people about turtles and their
importance. I think that after such educative inputs killing of turtle can´t be avoided but it may help us
to rescue specimens of Nilssonia hurum and gangetica.
This lake needs some conservation
issues for being protected for its
unique wetland habitat as more as
it is regarded as cultural place, too.
Nevertheless locals are searching
for food at its premises including
also protected turtle species.

8

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

One more book to help Nepal’ s peoples in cases of snakebites,
education and for proper snake identification!
VENOMOUS SNAKES OF NEPAL
Snakebite envenoming is one of the most neglected diseases
of the 21st century and affects several million people every
year. It is most common in tropical and subtropical regions
where it is an occupational disease of the young rural poor
population and a disaster-related health hazard (e.g., after
extreme weather events like floods). Children are highly
vulnerable and especially severely envenomed. The morbidity and mortality or long-term disability of young people that
is caused by snakebite envenoming has profound socioeconomic consequences for these developing nations. In
many countries, snakebite envenoming is also a true disease
of poverty in the sense that it mostly affects the poorest of
the poor, and further perpetuates poverty by causing treatment costs, loss of income during illness or due to disability, or the death of a family's bread-earner.
One of the most fundamental impediments to improving the management of snakebite envenoming is ignorance of the species of
snake that cause bites. This has, for example, resulted in the production of therapeutic immunoglobulin preparations (antivenoms) that
cover an insufficient number of species, or regionally irrelevant species. Ignorance of the local venomous and non-venomous snake
species is also at the root of the indiscriminate killing of any snake that is widespread in countries where snakebite is a problem. This in
turn can lead to ecological problems such as growing populations of rodents that eat crops and transmit diseases but are normally
controlled by predators like snakes. Finally, most people do not know what to do if they are bitten by a snake, or believe in ineffective
and often harmful "first aid" measures.
As part of Swiss and German cooperation with Nepal, a team of biologists and physicians from the three countries has prepared a book
on the venomous snakes of Nepal that is the first to help identify these dangerous reptiles based on photographs and text in separate
Nepali and English editions. The book also contains information on snakebite first aid and treatment. This information is countryspecific and reflects the present state of scientific evidence on this topic in the Nepali context. While part of the information and
recommendations given have general validity, readers should bear in mind that others may apply to the situation in Nepal only, or may
change over time as new evidence becomes available.
Project leader: Dr. Ulrich Kuch
Additional authors of the book:
Prof. Sanjib Kumar Sharma, B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (Dharan, Nepal)/ Prof. Karan Bahadur Shah, Natural
History Museum, Tribhuvan University (Kathmandu, Nepal) / Frank Tillack, Museum für Naturkunde (Berlin, Germany)
Prof. Dr. François Chappuis, Geneva University Hospitals (Geneva, Switzerland) / Dr. Chhabilal Thapa, Sindhuli District
Hospital (Sindhuli, Nepal) / Dr. Emilie Alirol, Geneva University Hospitals (Geneva, Switzerland)

Free electronic copies of the book (4.1 MB) are available for download here:
http://www.bik-f.de/root/index.php?page_id=77&projectID=55
The new ARCO-NEPAL Field Guide (2013) about reptiles and amphibians in Nepal - don´t miss it!
With identification keys and distribution maps, Size A 5, 625 pages, 52 pl./156 color photographs,
177 maps, over 1000 black/white illustrations, Nepali & English Published by ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
Send your order to [email protected] + Bank payment
Price: 68.- EUR + postage 12 EUR within Europe, + 24 EUR
outside Europe. We deliver only upon prepayment on our
account: Nr. 1000099984 BIC SSKMDEMMXXX
IBAN DE95701500001000099984
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München, BLZ 7015000
9

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

First release of captivity bred turtles at Chitwan National Park
Five captive Elongated Tortoises, Indotestudo elongata were released in Chitwan National Park on the
occasion of "World Biodiversity Conservation Day of 22 May 2014" with the presence of students of
primary school level. The released tortoises hatched in different years (see table below) and were
reared at a separate enclosure managed with a semi-natural habitat at the Gharial & Turtle
Conservation Breeding Center (GTCBC) Kasarah of Chitwan National Park.

Soft release enclosure
Tortoises were not released directly into the forest area, but they were transferred into a small soft
release open air enclosure at those parts of forest areas where shrubs, herbs and fruit trees (if fruits
falls from the tree they additionally can feed on it) grow. For hiding purposes there exists a naturally
uprooted hollow trunk so they have adequate facilities to adapt to natural conditions. The soft release
enclosure consisting by its proper own natural habitat (GPS location 0237055, 3049399) lies in an area
close to south at GTCBC in part of a Sal (Shorea robusta) forest. Tortoises were individually
measured, weighed and photographed (front/dorsal and ventral side) before release. They were
transported in cardboard boxes to the release site. They ought to remain there for adaptation in that
enclosure and in time they will break through that provisional enclosure by themselves to escape
completely into their natural habitat. These enclosures are made up of Elephant grass (Nerenga
porphyrocoma) and size of this enclosure was 10 x 6 m where they remained for 2 weeks and finally
freed themselves through broken parts into the wild on 4th June 2014. Now we hope they will adapt
well into the natural conditions at Chitwan National Park.

Following table:
(IDS = Individual data sheet as practiced by ARCO)

10

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014
IDS

01E
02E
03E
04E
05E

Hatching year Measurement (cm)
Carapace/
length x width
2005/064
19
15
2005/064
18.5 14.5
2006/063
22
16
2005/064
18
14
2005/064
19.2 14.2

Remarks
Plastron
length x width
12
7
11.5 6
13
8
11
7.2
12.5 7.0

Kg.
0.50
0.50
0.90
0.55
0.60

Enclosure site selection was chosen where there was that uprooted hollow trunk in natural condition
and wild fruit tree of Tatari (Dillenia pentagyna) are available. This is to help tortoises to hide
underneath that hollow trunk and to feed on fruits when fallen from the tree inside the enclosure.
According to our observation tortoises feed on mature fruits of Dillenia pentagyna. We manage also to
provide additional food Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo; mature yellow colour and sweet taste) and
Chickpea (Cicer arientium being soaked one day before offered) from first day until final escape from
enclosure.
By: Bed Bahadur Khadka; Assistant Conservation officer, Chitwan National Park.
Email: [email protected]
11

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 08, September 2014

We are excited and grateful for a slowly growing list of
donors that are supporting Turtle Conservation in Nepal
Without your generous donations, we would not have already achieved what has
been done so far. We would like to express our acknowledgment and
THANK YOU!!!
(mentioned below are donations received of 200 EUROS and more)
British Chelonian Group
Herpetofauna Foundation, NL
W. Kaestle
NBSV Nederland
H.M. Pichler
Van Rossem
Rutherford, Bristol
Studbook Foundation, Klaaswaal
Turtle Survival Alliance Europe

Please write us your opinion on our conservation issues at email: [email protected]
or to Prof. Dr. Kaluram Rai ([email protected]) - Or simply post it on facebook at arconepal and find more about our project at Youtube!!
Editorial: ARCO-Nepal / Prof. Dr. H. Hermann Schleich
English version proof readings acknowledged to Sylvia Geldeard.
A publication of ARCO
Copyright free with credit to ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
More about us at :
www.arco-nepal.de

Don´t forget:
We really need your help now! Make you donation or join ARCO-Nepal as a member for only
€ 2,50 per month! Account/Kto.-Nr. 1000099984 BIC S S KMDEMMXXX Bank/Credit Institute:
Stadtsparkasse München BLZ 70150000 IBAN DE95701500001000099984
12

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Veröffentlichungen ARCO

2014

–ARCO Newsletter no.09--

¡¡¡We need your Help now!!!
Make your donation or just join
ARCO-Nepal as a member for only
EURO 2.50 per month
Membership Declaration on our website!!
-and on Facebook –
just fill the form and send us by mail

Special membership offers!!
¡¡¡¡Make your Donation Now!!!! Vote for Turtle Conservation and support our project in SE
Nepal that we can continue with our project development for rescuing, homing and breeding
endangered turtle species of Nepal:
Account-no. 1000099984
BIC SSKMDEMMXXX
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München
BLZ 70150000
IBAN DE95701500001000099984

Table of Contents

page

 Progress in the development of our Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre

2

 First awareness and sensitivity program at the BudoHoli-TRCC : Drop-Drop
can make an Ocean

8

 Turtle identification and species approval - ? how reliable is information
from locals

9

 Anthropogenic Impacts on Herpetofauna; with special reference to the
science education in Nepal

12

 Special membership offers cum literature supply – a donation award

18

 Donations and Collaborations in 2014

19

 Season’ s greetings

20

Video of the ARCO-Nepal project now on You Tube and follow us on:
Every Euro or Dollar is wanted for crowdfunding! Please also see:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWZtEJkv90I
1

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Progress in the development of our Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre
What happened during last months…….
Antiescape tubes had been set up around the existing ponds using PE-tubes and

aquatic vegetation and wild growing native plants converted the artificially constructed ponds into
natural independent habitats

Our triangular earthen pond had been equipped with underwater separation units (left) to receive
bigger and more aggressive softshell turtles. And the TRCC dammed main lake has soon changed into
a wonderful natural habitat to receive a variety of turtle species.

Early this summer the SUMMEF Recreation & Nature Park celebrated its inauguration to public and
last month a police station had been installed to safeguard the park and surroundings.
(photos: N.Bhattarai/ARCO)
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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

and what’ s going on right now ………….

In October took place the laying of the foundation stone for our TRCC - Building accompanied by a
traditional Hindu ceremony after right day and time had been chosen carefully.

Basic works for the foundation and a view of the plan for finalization of the construction

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Drawn plans of the TRCC Central Building being under construction

Front view

Rear view

Drawings kindly acknowledged by ARCO-Nepal: Diego Tovar, Roquetas de Mar/Almeria, Spain
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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Basement




Basement on an elevated platform of boulders or on a underground set up on beams and air
chambers to avoid capillary humidity entering the house
Dimensions are the same as those for which we have already received cost estimations
and have been accepted as we requested months ago at the start of the construction
Working & rest room

Bathroom

kitchen

laboratory

lab/animalhospital
Side entrance
for lab/hospital

Library &
meeting room

Reception, office +shop
with big window to serve
to visitors and for
souvenir sale
Principal entrance with stairs leading to 1st floor
The basement construction has to serve for all the logistics necessary to run the TRCC at BudoHoli/Sanichare
SUMMEF Recreation & Nature Park.
The building shall be constructed on an elevated platform to avoid capillary humidity during the monsoon
rains to enter the house. A wide entrance situation also shall allow visitors to approach, give some shelter and
access to reception+ office + sale room. There is also a meeting room and library as one common unit, a toilet,
small kitchen, laboratory +hospital and one restroom.

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

First floor


Having same dimensions as basement and also the basement walls are carrying the 1 st floor walls.



The middle part is highest due to the inclined roof, the outer peripheral area is just on a height of
approx. 150 cm, places high enough for beds, shelves etc.

Kitchen

sleeping room

bathroom +toilet (European style)

stairway from basement

sleeping room

sleeping or storage room

The first floor shall have an independent stairway for guests, to avoid entering through the basement.
There is a small kitchen, a bathroom (shower + sink, lavatory) and an European styled toilet.
Two sleeping and one storage room shall offer possibilities for VIP guests, Researchers, Advisory Board
Members to stay at TRCC when the need arises.

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

First awareness and sensitivity seminar on Turtle Conservation
at Budo Holi –TRCC ……….“Drop-Drop can make an Ocean”
' CONSERVATION' although challenging is not such
an easy task although this word sounds nice and
promising. This term becomes even more difficult
when trying to apply it for protected flora and fauna
within limited and endangered populations.
Awareness and sensitivity is one of the first and
most important steps for serious conservation efforts
– a principal philosophy in the four columns of
ARCO s policy: Create basics scientific knowledge,
contribute to education, try to save endangered
species by conservation issues and create awareness
about the important needs to save species and
natural heritage. All important steps to make aware
local people as local communities can always be
principal conservationists. We conducted a first
sensitization programme on 30th August, 2014 at our
new and developing Turtle Rescue and Conservation
Centre (TRCC), Budo Holi, Sanichari municipality,
Jhapa. The major objectives of this formal
programme was to introduce the turtle and the
important progress of construction at TRCC and
future plan of SUMMEF-ARCO for turtle
conservation.

What is ARCO-Nepal?
Amphibian and Reptile ConservationNepal (ARCO-Nepal) is the first association which is working in the field of
Herpetofauna Nepal since past 25 years
ago. As its main task, Turtle conservation
is started first time in Chitwan before and
15 years later first captive born and
grown tortoises were released there by the
department of National Parks and
Wildlife Conservation.

The programme was chaired by chief of SUMMEF local management committee (SLMC) Mr. Birkha
Pradhan, special guest Prof. Dr. KR Khambu, guest Mr. Arjun Rai and Hari Dahal and other invitee
are Nabin Bhattarai, TRCC representative and Kamal Sangraula. More than 100 peoples participated
in the programme who are residents of surrounding of TRCC area.
Hari Dahal, member of SLMC has started the programme with his welcome speech. Arjun Rai, vicepresident of SUMMEF gave his speech on how ARCO-Nepal and SUMMEF jointly run this TRCC
project. Prof. Rai focused on turtle species in Nepal, scientific value, necessity of conservation, status
of turtle in Nepal and the expectation of TRCC to local communities. TRCC representative explained
the infrastructure made at TRCC as well pipeline construction work for turtle rescue and sustainable
conservation of turtle in SE Nepal. Interactive session was the core part of the programme where
participants raised their query and shared their experience. We, Nabin Bhattarai and Prof. Rai,
responsed to their query. Also, at this session, we collected comments and compliments about the
TRCC and turtle conservation. Representative voices are presented below translated into English.

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
Written votes from the auditory (translated into English):
“I am Dambar Puri, resident of Saniarjun-7. I am ready to help
and support if TRCC needs. I want to congratulate to dedicated
committee.”
Kiran Bantawa Rai, Saniarjun-9, Jhapa: “Turtle conservation is good. This conservation can adds the value of
this beautiful places. In my view, a proper place for conservation of turtle is nearby big lake than existing TRCC
area. My support goes to turtle conservation. This type of awareness programme is necessary in future too.”
Dambar Biswas Tharu, Saniarjun, Salbari, Jhapa: “Thank you to
K.R. Khambu. I will hand-over one turtle if I can. Awareness
programme is very important to conserve the turtle.”
Bharat Chaudhary, Saniarjun-9, Jhapa: “Suggestion: Turtle conservation should be done. I will support this
activities always and my dedication always goes to conservation of turtle in Budoholi.”
Himlal Sitaula: “I will stand against the illegal trading and poaching.
I will support this conservation activities as I can”
Dilliram Bharati, Saniarjun-9, Jhapa: “Suggestion: Turtle conservation
is good. This park increases the economic activities as well natural
beauties. We have to join hands.”

We are Dedicated to Conserve the Turtles

Mr. Pradhan closed the session with word of thanks to participants, guests, chief guest and other who helped
the turtle conservation in Budoholi and this programme.
By: K.R. Rai & N. Bhattarai, ARCO-Nepal reg. soc.

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Turtle identification and species approval - ? how reliable is information
from locals
Not only completely wrong so-called scientific literature or publications lead to a big amount of
misinterpretations of the local native herpetofauna (own experiences during former lecture programs)
of Nepal but also information that was only tentative or to believe what local people may tell one –
without having ever seen the species or it being documented by at least proper voucher photographs or
museum specimen. See in lit.: “Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal” by Schleich & Kästle, 2002:68ff
“Even among zoologists and conservationists a lot of confusion existed concerning records and the
existence of various turtle species in Nepal. One example is a “university teaching book“ on zoology
entitled “Wildlife of Nepal” and used over many years, which contained a mere compilation of data
from neighbouring India. Even species restricted to America or Europe such as “Hyla arborea, Hyla
versicolor, H. arenicolor, H. crucifer, Rhacophorus rhaccophorus (sic), Bufo bufo, B. viridis, Rana
temporaria, Rana pipens, Rana esculenta, Eumecces faciatus (sic), Uromastix spp., Python
reticulatus“ were enigmatically mentioned among many others (SHRESTHA, T. K., 1981) as
occurring in Nepal. Still worse was the fact that school and university courses were supplied with
herpetological material imported from India and even America. Thus, it is no wonder that 15 years ago
there was still a strong belief among Nepalese zoologists that Uromastyx or Chamaeleo must occur in
Nepal as these taxa were used for teaching purposes throughout the country (see also following article
by K.R. Rai, this newsletter!!).
My own experiences during many years field work and also just recently from last spring, shall give
some more examples.
Turtles are commonly kept in wells in Nepal as people believe that they prevent them from
drying out. Such a well we were happily allowed to inspect, supported by its local proprietor in March
2014.
This well was about 6 m deep and big enough for a slim person to crawl down to water level within it.
But before taking out the specimens, we showed the owner of the local property all nepali species on
proper photographs – and received, –for them the convincing- information based on those photos, that
they were keeping 2 big sized roofed turtles (Pangshura sp.) in their well. It sounded surprising and
astonishing and what came out at the end were two Indian flapshell turtles (Lissemys).

Seen above is the well in the centre (detail left) and right the two Lissemys taken out from it.
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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
Finally this owner gratefully promised us that he will handover those two adult Lissemys to our new
TRCC when it is inaugurated.
This particular day and event was a great experience for all of us! And we like to thank those kind
persons for the great hospitality.

Similar information we received when searching for turtles keeping in mind that the common name is
“Kachuga” in Nepali and formerly also was in use as a generic name for several species. Thus, also
receiving the first verbal information more than 25 years ago, of Kachugas (Batagur sp.) living in the
rivers of South Central Nepal and at Chitwan National Park. So far, we do not see evidence for proven
records of these big growing highly endangered terrapins and in the publication of CARON exactly
these particular species are shown with a wide distribution in Nepal but only by using photographs
authored by I. DAS, a serious scientist colleague dedicated to herpetology from S-Asia for his whole
life. Similarily, first records of the Indian eyed or ocellated turtle Morenia petersi which after years
turned out to be that its shell had been received from a petrol station on the way to India´s border and
was never recorded in the close by mentioned lake.
Another misleading publication is a book “Herpetology of Nepal: A study of amphibians and reptiles
of Trans-Himalayan Region of Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bhutan” by T.K. Shrestha (2004). We
reprint (in part) the book review on Amazon by Smoochy:
“I'll come right out and say it - the captions for the pictures in this book are the greatest I've ever seen.
Get this book just for them. The language barrier allows for great one liners such as "Rock agma
basking on the sun", "Wild and Acenic Arun River Chutes Down in to deep gorge near Golga village
with terrific roar and the thunder.", "Ready for sucking spermatophores", "Snake man wearing cobra
blowing his flute semi-terrestrial", and my favorite "Its tail is brown with black mark, which made the
snake quite dreadful." ……..
……As far as formatting, this book is difficult to use. There are no page headings Names are a bit
strange, and strange murals and diagrams are found in the text. Pictures change from color to black and
white halfway through the plates, and follow a completely different format like two books were stuck
together. Species accounts are punctuated by sidebars like "Ranching Crocodiles in Himalayan
Waters" and sections on how to build a turtle breeding pond. (By the way, you'll notice that the turtle
park and crocodile park diagram are the same, with different cartoon animals drawn in over top)”.
Focusing still on the turtles again,
FRAZIER (1992) confirmed that there were neither Agrionemys horsfieldii nor Geochelone elegans
originally occuring in Nepal. Thus, as a result of my own experience in dealing with Nepal’s
local herpetofauna, especially the turtles, I agree and fully support the statements by FRAZIER &
DAS (1994):
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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
“The present day distribution records of turtles in the Indian region must be interpreted with caution.
 Firstly, many locality records - reported here or elsewhere - are based on specimens (or parts of
specimens) that were not examined in situ, but found in middens or brought in by villagers.
 Secondly, visual descriptions - especially when they are not supported by photographic
evidence at least - are contestable but not resolvable. These two classes of records, particularly the
second, serve mainly as indicators of places for further investigation - and not as confirmed
records.
 Thirdly, the degree of habitat perturbation in India and the region (deforestation, industrial
development, pollution of soil and rivers, hydroprojects, etc.) has tremendously altered vast areas of
“original” habitat during the last few decades. As a result, some species (both terrestrial and aquatic)
are certain or have been completely exterminated, or so reduced in numbers that they cannot now be
found where they formerly occurred.”
Final note: In July this year we received the photograph (to the
right) from a Nepali biologist with tentative identification of
Hardella thurjii what in reality is the globally invasory Northamerican species Trachemys sold in petshops and when outgrown
often released into wild and being harmful to local fauna!
Schleich, H. Hermann, Arco-Nepal

Found recently in Belbari, SE- Nepal

Free electronic copies of the book on “Venomous snakes of Nepal” (4.1 MB) are available for
download: http://www.bik-f.de/root/index.php?page_id=77&projectID=55

The ARCO-NEPAL Field Guide (2013) about reptiles and amphibians in Nepal - with identification keys
and distribution maps, Size A 5, 625 pages, 52 pl./156 color photographs, 177 maps, over 1000
black/white illustrations, Nepali & English Published by ARCO-Nepal reg.soc.
Send your order to [email protected] + Bank payment
Price: 68.- EUR + postage 12 EUR within Europe, + 24 EUR outside Europe. We deliver only upon
prepayment on our
account: Nr. 1000099984 BIC SSKMDEMMXXX IBAN DE95701500001000099984
Bank/Credit Institute: Stadtsparkasse München, BLZ 7015000
For orders within Nepal we do have special offers – please request by mail!!
11

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Anthropogenic impacts on the herpetofauna with special reference to the
science education in Nepal
By
Kalu Ram Rai

Abstract
Conservation and development are co-conflicting terms of the modern age. From the environmental
point of view, the anthropogenic activities are often considered a leading factor for the depletion of wildlife. In
the name of development and practical work in the educational institutes, the loss of a large number of frogs,
lizards and other animals for dissecting, went either unnoticed or ignored. Previously the required specimens
were imported into Nepal from India. This caused no effect on the local species. When India banned export of
specimens into Nepal (1999) for biological utility, local collection increased leading to a dwindling population
of commonly found species. Nepal has felt an immediate need for conservation. Unavailability of specimen in
many Government and private educational institutes created an alarming situation. Concerning the
environmental aspects, there is an urgent need to control the injudiciously commercial collection of the
specimens from their natural habitats. Keeping this view in mind, an attempt has been made in this paper to
analyze the problem and to draw the attention of conservationists towards wildlife farming and breeding for
scientific research, to fulfill the crucial educational necessities in the country.
Keywords: Anthropogenic impacts, herpetofauna, dissecting material, educational institutes, wildlife
farming, Nepal.

Introduction
Geographically, Nepal lies in the subtropical region but it has diversified climatic belts. It has rich
biodiversity which includes 177 species of herpetofauna (SCHLEICH & KAESTLE, 2002, KÄSTLE, RAI &
SCHLEICH, 2013). Throughout the history of civilization, human activities have been harmful to the natural biota
(DUELLMAN & TRUEB, 1986). Since the 1960s the physical condition and productivity of forest resources have
been gradually deteriorating due to the excessive pressure of over population, overgrazing, and other natural and
manmade calamities (BAJRACHARYA, K.M., 1999). Therefore, only a few remnants of natural forests have
survived where most of the rare wildlife was found and many species have now become endangered. For
example the declining frog populations have caused a heavy economic strain, not only due to the tremendous
rise in purchase of insecticides but also due to the damage to the ecosystem (SHRESTHA, 1990). Rapid
urbanization and industrialization occurs with wide scale deforestations and also is radically changing the
indigenous traditions, whereas science and technological education is bringing an inevitable progress in
everybody’s life. In Nepal, most of the scientific research activities are carried out in government laboratories,
different institutions under the universities and Nepal Academy of Science and Technology. While the history
of education in sciences goes back to almost 80 years, the history of scientific research in teaching institutions
of our country is relatively recent (BAJRACHARYA, D., 1999). Introduction of dissertations at post graduate
levels in early 1970s contributed significantly to the promotion of research activities in the teaching departments
of T.U. (ibid). But now, with the expansion of universities, research centers, medical institutes and private
teaching institutes, where a large number of dissecting animals (mainly earthworms, cockroaches. molluscs,
fishes, frogs, lizards, birds, rats etc.) are here still needed for morphological and physiological tests and
experiments. Recently, the education system of Nepal has introduced +2 programme at Higher Secondary level,
where the biological education is offered as a pre-university syllabus. This being developed as a multiuniversity concept (fig. 1) during the last decade. Besides Tribhuvan University (TU) there is Kathmandu
University (KU), Purvanchal University, Pokhara University and affiliated medical colleges established. These
universities have introduced several biological research courses in their curriculae from the levels of
intermediate to Bachelor and Master (tab. 2), where, the locally available perianthropic species of amphibians
and reptiles are chosen for dissections. Such unexpected high demand is causing and creating problems not only
at procurement level for the research institutes but is decimating the species and seriously affecting nature
conservation.

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
Methodology
Data were collected from different campuses like T.U., K.U., Higher Secondary Schools and medical
institutes including private technical institutes (fig. 1). The sampling of the dissecting specimens was done
directly by surveying the Zoology Department of various campuses like Mechi, Morang, P.G., Biratnagar,
Dharan, Rajbiraj and Siraha (fig. 2) with the identification of used species. From others such as Janakpur,
T.R.M., Birganj, Bharatpur, , Butwal, Nepalganj and Siddhanath, Mahendra Nagar from Terai Region, and
Palpa, Pokhara, as well as Science Campuses from Kathmandu Valley and Dhankuta from the Mountain Region
of Nepal, the data were estimated with reference to the student quota. In addition, records were collected from
K.U. Campus and science streams of Higher Secondary Schools from East, mid and West Regions. While
discussing with the authorities of those relevant campuses regarding the availability of dissecting specimens, it
was learnt that previously it had not been a problem since all specimens were imported from India. But
presently, due to erratic supply of the specimens by local dealers, they were facing complaints from the
students. They were unable to provide optimum number of specimens in practical classes to the students.

Fig. 1: Science Campuses of T.U., K.U., P.U. and Purvanchal University in Nepal

Institutes/Universities/HSS-HMG
T.U., Sc. & Tech. T.U.
(1997)
T.U., Science and Technology
(2001)
Eastern Development Region
"
Middle Development Region
"
Western Development Region
"
Midwestern Development Region
"
Far Western Development Region
"
K.U., Science Faculty
(1997)
K.U., School of Science
(2001)
HMG, Higher Secondary Ed. (10+2) (2001)

Levels
Intermediate
7,366
6,539
1,236
3,726
1,095
183
302
378
439
24,368

Total students
Bachelor
3,378
4,921
669
3,247
607
121
277
192
245

Master
1,283
1,159
70
1,029
46
14
14
14

12,047
12,619
1,972
8,002
1,748
304
593
581
698
24,368

Table 1: Survey on Enrolment of Students at T.U., K.U. and HSS in 1997 and 2001
Source: T.U. Special Bulletin (2002) & Four Monthly Statistical Bulletin, CBS-HMG 74:2002
Data Collection
The data of the enrolment of the students in the higher secondary levels and Universities in the
academic year of 2001 was found to be 37,685 (tab. 1). During the random survey of the stored specimens at the
biology laboratories of East Terai Campuses (e.g., Mechi, Biratnagar, Dharan, Rajbiraj and Siraha), especially
four frogs species were being used and identified as Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Hoplobatrachus crassus,
Limnonectes sp., and Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis (tab. 3). Although protected by CITES, Hoplobatrachus tigerinus
was found to be collected (40.2%) in laboratories without any conservation knowledge. As random samplings

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
were done on the campuses of East Nepal, the stored specimens found were Hoplobatrachu tigerinus 40.2 %,
Limnonectes teraiensis 39.0 %, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis 15.6 %, and Hoplobatrachus crassus 5.2 %,
respectively (tab. 3). In this way, in Higher Secondary Levels, H. tigerinus 9.0 %, H. crassus 4.8 %, E.
cyanophlyctis 42.7 %, and Limnonectes spec. 43.5 %: were also recorded, too (tab. 4).
In the capital city Kathmandu, a survey on the suppliers of dissecting material was done for some
government and private campuses. First to be contacted was the proprietor of Suman enterprises (R.
BAJRACHARYA), where data on preserved frogs were collected. Another was EUREKA enterprises (Science
house) who supplies 10 thousands frogs (sic!!) per year (GORKHAPATRA, 2003). According to Mr. Gautam
(Eurica Enterprises), suppliers have to pay 36% tax to the custom office, even though there is no provision of
direct entry in its original name. It is allowed by substitution of dead organisms such as murex, clams etc.
According to the official record of Custom Office in the financial year of 2001/02 (2058/059 BS): such items
were imported amounted to 85523 kg, which cost approx. NRs. 13,00,000.00 (approx. USD 17,333.00).
Therefore, the minimum cost of one frog could be NRs. 25.00 (GORKHAPATRA, 2003). Such data showed us the
actual quantity of consumption in Nepal.
In Kathmandu Valley, the requirement of Amrit Science Campus (organ campus of T.U.) are 1,000 to
1,500 frogs, being needed in each academic year for zoology practical classes. In this way, one sampled private
campus, the National School of Education, allocates in its budget NRs 2000.00 for buying the frogs (R EGMI, C.
pers. comm. 2004) in every academic year.
Previously, Uromastyx and Chamaeleo. had been imported from India for dissection, but presently it is
banned. Therefore, it has been substituted by locally available perianthropic species of lizards (Calotes
versicolor, Hemidactylus spp., etc). According to this survey (RAI, 2002); these species are common in Nepal.
From the data collection of the Campuses of Terai (fig. 1), 40% garden lizards (fig. 3) and 60% wall lizards
were recorded as being used in dissection. Hemidactylus sp. are perianthopic species and easily available in or
at the vicinity of houses. Whereas Calotes versicolor are found in wild scrubs and in forests and are more
difficult to collect.

Figs. 2-5 clockwise: 2) Collection of frogs for dissection at Mechi Campus in East Nepal. 3) Collection of
Calotes versicolor in Zoology Dept., P.G. Campus, T.U. at Biratnagar. 4) Displaying dissected frog in the Zool.
Lab. of Mechi Campus, Bhadrapur, Jhapa. 5) Students at dissecting work in the Bio Laboratory of BHSS,
Birtamod; Jhapa

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
Results
The total enrolment of science students in the intermediate level at T.U. (2001) was 6539, at K.U. 439
and in 10+2 level, 24368. There is wide distribution of T.U. campuses. Out of the total number of science
students; there are 1236 in the Eastern Development Region, 3736 in Mid-Development Region, 1,095 in
Western Development Region, 183 in Mid-western Development Region and 302 in Far-Western Development
Region respectively (table 1). According to the practical course, 5 specimens of dissecting material are needed
per student to complete all sections. The necessary required number of frogs was calculated to be 32595 at T.U.
Campuses, 2195 at K.U. and approx. 12000 at Higher Secondary Schools (table 2).

School of Science, K.U.
Higher Secondary Schools HMG

Level
I. Sc. (Biology)
B. Sc. (Zoology)
M. Sc. (Zoology)
I. Sc. (Biology)
10+2 (Biology)

Used frogs/year
6,539X5 = 32,595
439X5 = 2,195
2400X5= 12,000

Used lizards/year
600X5= 3,000
150X5 = 750
-

Approximately

Total specimens

46,790 / year

3,750 / year

Campuses of Institute of Sc. &
Tech. Tribhuvan University

Table 2: Survey on Estimated Number of Frogs and Lizards for Dissection in 2001. Source: Self (pers. comm.
Campuses 2002)
In the course of biology, dissection work on frogs is compulsory (fig. 4 & 5). In the same way at
bachelor and master levels of science, a zoology course needs vertebrates for dissection. Total enrolment of
science students in bachelor and master level at T.U. was 4921 and 1159, and K.U. 245 and 14 respectively (tab.
1). About 10 per cent of total students of B. Sc. or M. Sc. would study zoology. Therefore, as per data, with a
calculation of five lizards per student, the approximate consumption numbers were found to be 3000 lizards in
Bachelor and 750 lizards in Master, in each year (tab. 2). Therefore, the result of data calculation showed that
46790 frogs and 3750 lizards are killed in schools and campuses in Nepal every year.

Stored Specimens
Hoplobatrachus tigerinus
H. crassus
Limnonectes spec.
Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis
Total

Mechi
Campus
140
15
69
8
232

Biratnagar
Campus
75
15
130
80
300

Calotes versicolor
Hemidactylus spec.
Total

10
15
25

50
75
125

Dharan
Campus
70
5
50
25
150

Rajbiraj
Campus
30
5
50
15
100

Siraha
Campus
40
5
45
10
100

Total

Species%

355
45
344
138
882

40.2%
5.2%
39.0%
15.6%
100%

60
90
150

40%
60%
100%

Table 3: Survey of preserved Herpetofauna from the Campuses of East Nepal

Stored Specimens

Birta HSS

Hoplobatrachus tigerinus
Hoplobatrachus crassus
Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis
Limnonectes teraiensis
L. nepalensis
Limnonectes spec.
Total

45
24
390
86
39
52
636

Damak HSS
30
14
70
52
21
85
272

Birat. HSS
35
20
60
40
34
120
309

Total

Species %

110
58
520
178
94
257
1,217

9.0 %
4.8 %
42.7 %
14.6 %
7.7 %
21.2 %
100 %

Table 4: Data of Dissecting materials (frogs) stored in Higher Secondary Schools in East Terai (2003);
References:Higher Secondary School (HSS)

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
Discussion
Human activities modify natural environment and, hence, the physiological processes which have
implications at local, regional and global levels (SETH, 2000). Wetlands are necessary for frogs and forests are
necessary for lizards. The perianthropic amphibian species generally breed in stagnant water and are rather
tolerant of pollution (MASKEY et. al., 2002). INGER (1999) cites the following Nepalese species, some of which
are locally very common: Bufo melanostictus, Kaloula (pulchra), Microhyla ornata, Limnonectes spp.,
Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis, Hylarana taipehensis, Polypedates leucomystax.
According to the present survey, apart from Hoplobatrachus tigerinus: Limnonectes spec., and Euphlyctis
cyanophlyctis; Hoplobatrachus crassus was also found to be commonly used for dissecting purpose in East
Nepal. Among the reptiles, geckos live in human dwellings and other constructions of stone, concrete, wood or
bamboo–ranging from the lonely hut at the margins of the forest to large cities (SCHLEICH & KAESTLE, 2002;
KAESTLE et.al, 2013). The common garden lizard (Calotes versicolor), originally a dweller of sunny forest
margins, has widely profited from large scale deforestation and now lives around human habitations on bushes,
small trees and hedges (MASKEY, et al., 2002). Therefore, these species of frogs and lizards were previously
thought of as very common in herpetofauna, and nobody expected their early decimation. But it is true that once
held simplistic views turn out to be complex later. Thus, to maintain the number of such disappearing species,
only action taken now could ultimately protect these species from environmental disaster in future.
The potential impact of human judgment and action on herpetofauna, are infrequently studied and, even
when it is done, it attracts very little interest in the overall assessment of protected wildlife. The human
populations increase dramatically, causing environmental destruction and eliminate the natural habitats,
modifying the environment on such a large scale that many species are in danger of extinction (DUELLMAN &
TRUEB, 1986). Still worse, is the fact that school and university courses were supplied with herpetological
material imported from India (MASKEY et. al., 2002). Thus it is no wonder that from the very beginning the
University courses of B.Sc. contained Uromastyx hardwicki (a protected CITES species!!) for teaching, but
“luckily” it has been replaced by Calotes versicolor (fig. 3) for dissection purposes throughout the country in
Nepal.
After banning the import of dissection material from outside (India), the commercial suppliers started
collecting these species from their natural habitats. As a consequence each year 46,790 frogs and 3,750 lizards
are being killed for academic studies. Thus, another conservation problem has arisen in Nepal. If such wanton
consumption by educational institutes is allowed to continue unchecked, it is foreseen that after several years
only empty land will remain here.
5. Conclusion
Previously, it was very common to collect these animals in India without any conservation knowledge,
but now its negative impacts are realized and stopped by law. Right now, a similar situation exists in Nepal,
where collecting in the name of education is done frequently from Terai lowlands. Although not yet as serious,
if collection is allowed to continue unchecked and without raising public awareness of conservation, then the
future of such animals will be threatened. During the last four decades, education has played an outstanding role
to rapid progress. This survey has found dissecting work for biology education is the main reason for causing
the depletion in numbers of certain amphibians (Genera: Hoplobatrachus, Limnonectes & Euphlyctis) and
reptiles (Genera: Calotes, Hemidactylus etc.). The direct impact on the number of frogs and lizards by
educational activities is clearly seen. Therefore, for protection and conservation of these species, natural habitats
should be protected by national law. Legal provision could be made to enable the interested individuals,
organizations or groups to farm such species in captive breeding or at semi-natural habitats for ex-situ
conservation to meet the demands of utility. If possible, each campus and institute could manage ponds for frog
farming (and also for environmental education), and luxuriant gardens or old houses for gecko and lizard
farming. Additionally, it could be said that an alarming situation is approaching here with a need to find other
options for dissection of herpetofauna using electronic media (HS 2003, pers. comm.) for the students of
educational and research institutes.

6. Acknowledgements
The author is greatly indebted to Prof. Dr. H.H. SCHLEICH (President of ARCO-Nepal) for his
continuous guidance in the research field of herpetology of Nepal. He would like to thank to Prof. G.P. S HARMA
(Dean of IOST), Prof. T.K. SHRESTHA (Chief of Central Department of Zoology), Former Chief of Central

16

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014
Department of Environmental Sciences Prof. U.K.R. YADAV and present Chief Dr. Madam KOIRALA, Prof. Dr.
R.K. Kherwar (P.U.), Prof. Dr. R. B. Thapa & Dr. Bharat SUBBA (PG Campus, T.U.; Biratnagar), Dr. T.
MASKEY (former DG: DNPWC, Kathmandu), Dr. K. SHRESTHA &, Prof. K.B. SHAH (Natural History Museum,
T.U.), Dr. W. KAESTLE, & Dr C. ANDERS (Germany) for their amicable suggestions and encouragements.
It is the author’s privilege to thank to Peter Stafford (Editor of The Herpetological Bulletin) for his
critical comments and suggestions on this manuscript, and also to Shyam Dewan (Darjeeling) who helped to
improve the English language. Likewise, he wouldlike to thank the body of ARCO-Nepal who recommended
that it be published in its forthcoming online publication.
The editor acknowledges the great contribution by Sylvia Geldeard (Secretary ARCO-Spain) for final
proof reading.

References:
ANDERS, C. (2002): Biologie und Systematik der Amphibien Nepals.- Veröffentlichungen Fuhlrott-Museum,
Wuppertal. (6: 630 pp.).
BAJRACHARYA, D. (1999): Scientific Research and National Science Conferences in Nepal. - In (SHARMA,
Madhav, P. ed.): Souvenir; Third National Conference on Science and Technology (March, 1999), Kathmandu.
pp 1-4.
BAJRACHARYA, M.M., (1999): Management of Forest Resources in Nepal: A Policy Guideline. - In (SHARMA,
Madhav, P. ed.): Souvenir – Third National Conference on Science and Technology (March, 1999), Kathmandu.
pp 5-11.
CBS, (2002): A Hand Book of Environment Statistics Nepal, 2002. – HMG: National Planning Commission
Secretariat; Central Bureau of Statistics, Kathmandu.
DIXIT, K. & TUMBAHANGPHEY, A. (2002): Kalu Ram's frogs and geckos.- In: Nepali Times.18 – 24 (Weekly) #
77: p 16: Lalitpur.
DUELLMAN, E. & TRUEB, L. (1986): Biology of Amphibians. - McGraw-Hill Book Comp., New York. pp 7-9.
GORKHAPATRA, DAILY (2003): Bhyagutako Mulya Pani Pachchis Ruppeeya!. – Nov. 14, 2003: Year 103: No.
186. p. 1. Kathmandu, Nepal.
INGER, R.F. (1986): An overview of the Amphibian fauna of India: List of Indian Species of Amphibians and
Know Occurrence in States.- J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 83 (Suppliment): 136-141 pp.
KAESTLE, W., SCHLEICH, H.H., DAS, I. & ANDERS, C. (2002): Zoogeography of Nepalese amphibians and
reptiles.- In (Schleich & Kaestle, eds.): Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal; Garner Verlag K.G. Germany. pp.
93-128.
MASKEY, T.M., SCHLEICH, H.H., & KAESTLE, W. (2002): Nepal’s herpetofauna on a razor’s edge between
threat and conservation.- In (Schleich & Kaestle, eds.): Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. A.R.G. Gantner
Verlag, FL-Ruggel. pp. 59-77.
RAI, K.R. (2003): Environmental Impacts, Systematics and Distribution of Herpetofauna from East Nepal.Ph.D. Dissertation; Tiribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
SCHLEICH, H.H. (1993): Contribution to the systematics and to a bibliography of the amphibians and reptiles
from Nepal.- J. Nepal Res. Centre 9: 141-168; Kathmandu.
SCHLEICH & KAESTLE eds. (2002): Amphibians & Reptiles of Nepal.- Koeltz Sci. Books, Germany
SETH, S.M. (2000): Man’s Influence on Hydrological Cycle and Impact of Land use Changes on Effectiveness
of River Valley Projects.- In (R.S. Goel, ed.): Environmental Impacts Assessment of Water Resources Projects
– Concerns, Policy Issues, Perceptions and Scientific Analysis. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New
Delhi. pp 317-330.
SHAH, K.B. (1998): Checklist of the Herpetofauna of Nepal with English and vernacular names. - Nat. Hist.
Soc. of Nepal – NASHON Bull., 8(1-4): 26-30. T.U. Special Bulletin, (2002): Kirtipur, Kathmandu.
SHRESTHA, T.K. (1998b): Distribution of Amphibians in Nepal. - In (MAJPURIA, T.C. ed.): Wild is beautiful:
pp. 142-146.

Author: Prof. Dr. Kalu Ram Rai, Mechi Campus, Bhadrapur- 5, Jhapa, Nepal.
E-mail: [email protected]

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ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Special membership offers cum literature supply – a donation award
YOUR membership registration with bank domiciliation allows a reduced offer for our digitally
reprinted volumes on the herpetology of Nepal and S-Asia. This helps to contribute to our project work
at S-Nepal constructing a first INGO Turtle Rescue & Conservation Centre.
We need your membership registration cum bank domiciliation and a 5O.- EURO donation added to
receive one of both below shown books as e-books or reprints.

630 pp

420 pp

We are delighted to see that our efforts in contributing for the conservation of
Nepal´s endangered turtles is receiving worthwhile feed back also from the people
of the country for which we are doing it. One of several emails that recently
reached us from S-Asia/Nepal:
“I want to become member of this organization. Tell me the way to be there and
process to be member......I want to help rescue animals....” We say thank you!
Membership contributions and any donations from SAARC countries please pay directly upon
our account at the

Himalayan Bank Ltd, Kathmandu (Thamel Branch), Nepal
Account no: 019 0005 5040014 / SWIFT HIMANPKA
18

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

We are very grateful and pleased to mention
donations (alphabetically) for 2014 by
Gifkins, Mr.&Mrs.
Herpetofauna Foundation, NL
Kaestle Werner, D
NBSV, NL
Oasys Parque Tematico / Rodriguez Linde Jose-Maria, E
Pandey Prasad, Nepal
Pichler Mario, D
Rutherford Douglas, UK
Turtle Survival Alliance Europe
Wester Gert, D
Zwartepoorte Henk, NL

And we like to acknowledge the collaboration by
Turtle Survival Alliance Europe
European Studbook Foundation
EDV Systeme Wester
Reptilienauffangstation München
Diego Tovar
…….. and hope you forgive we cannot mention all
19

ARCO Veröffentlichungen - Newsletter 09, December 2014

Season’ s Greetings & Best Wishes for a Happy New Year

By Esperanza Rodriguez Sanchéz for ARCO-Nepal!

20

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