The Bostami turtle or black softshell turtle is a freshwater species which is found in Assam, Sylhet and Chittagong. The International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2002, declared that the species were extinct but, then again some of the turtles were found in Assam, India. This created a sensation, knowing everything about black softshell turtle for UPSC preparation.

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Black Softshell Turtle: Introduction

Given below is the table for scientific classification

Binomial Name Nilssonia nigricans
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Testudines
Suborder Cryptodira
Family Trionychidae
Genus Nilssonia
Species N. nigricans


The turtles are originally native to the lower Brahmaputra River. There is a small number of species that are there in the man-made pond. It is a part of the Bayazid Bostami shrine at Chittagong, where they are under human care. The local worshippers there call them Mazari.

In 2012, wildlife biologists of the Center for Advanced Research in Natural Resources and Management had found a small population of black softshell turtles in the forests of Sylhet. There were also two small populations discovered in Kaziranga and Jia Bhoroli River. These turtles are found in a shiva temple in Baneswar, in Baneswar Shiva temple, the Cooch Behar II CD block, the Cooch Behar Sadar subdivision of the Cooch Behar district in West Bengal, India.

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The dark softshell turtle has a noticeably unique appearance contrasted with that of a typical turtle. This turtle, like any remaining softshell turtles, has a semi-adaptable shell that is rugged and doesn’t deter development as much as the normal hardshell. The dark softshell turtle likewise has an exceptionally particular nose and face, with a cylinder-like design projecting from its nose looking like and working like a snorkel.

The tendons of this turtle are additionally considerably more particular than those of the ordinary ocean turtle or land turtle, being that they have hand-like constructions that are webbed, instead of different turtles like ocean turtles who have a more extensive arm. The softshell of the turtle doesn’t jut out from the body far and normally shows up to some degree unbending with almost no shading and design. The skin of the dark softshell turtle is frequently dark or dull earthy coloured, however can regularly show up with white to yellow spots that show up across the head and tendons of the turtle.

Black Softshell Turtle Lifespan

The most noteworthy recorded age for the Bostani turtle has been controlled by those living in the space straightforwardly, with claims that the most established turtles present are roughly 150 years of age. Be that as it may, this species has a high death rate toward the early phases of life, with 94% of eggs without bringing forth abilities. With a normal grip size of 20, this would take into consideration the endurance of around one egg for every two mating turtles.

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Black Softshell Turtle: Conversation Efforts

Since 2013, TSA India has worked industriously to improve conditions at chosen sanctuary lakes in Assam where these turtles were found. A significant number of the lakes were eutrophic and stuffed and regularly, turtles were taken care of human food as strict contributions. The turtles gave indications of helpless nourishment and an absence of appropriate settling space brought about eggs being saved in regions where there was minimal shot at incubating.

The objective of the undertaking is to in the end back and deliver adolescents from these hostage states to enhance exhausted wild populaces. As a component of that drive, the TSA India group set up camp at the Nagshankar sanctuary in April to notice settling in the 40-45 grown-up females at that area. Around then, the group moved ten homes to an incubator and ensured four homes nearby.

Black Softshell Turtle: GS 2 Paper for UPSC Exam 

#A significant sanctuary in Assam has marked a reminder of comprehension with two green NGOs, the Assam State Zoo cum Botanical Garden and the Kamrup area organization for long haul protection of the uncommon freshwater dark softshell turtle (Nilssonia nigricans).

#A dream archive 2030 was likewise dispatched after Turtle Survival Alliance India and Help Earth marked the agreement including the Hayagriva Madhava Temple Committee.

#The sanctuary, respected by the two Hindus and Buddhists, is at Hajo, around 30 km northwest of Guwahati.

#This multi-partner affiliation (preservation agreement) plans to restock the wild with suitable, independent and hereditarily unadulterated compromised turtle populaces in the district.

#It offers help for the necessary improvement of cultivation of turtles kept in such lakes, and further recuperation endeavours are suggested for the drawn-out endurance and presence of the endangered freshwater turtles.

Black Softshell Turtle: Points for UPSC Preparation

 #It’s anything but a type of freshwater turtle found in India (Assam) and Bangladesh (Chittagong and Sylhet).

#The International Union for Conservation of Nature had in 2021 recorded the turtle as ‘fundamentally imperilled’.

#Until sightings along with the Brahmaputra River’s seepage in Assam, the dark softshell turtle was believed to be ‘terminated in the wild’ and restricted uniquely to lakes of sanctuaries in northeastern India and Bangladesh.

#It loathes lawful assurance under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 despite the fact that it has generally been pursued its meat and ligament, exchanged local and worldwide business sectors.

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Black Softshell Turtle Conservation

Here are two of the plans which India took to save turtles.

Indian Ocean Sea Turtle Agreement (IOSEA)

India is a signatory to the Indian Ocean Sea Turtle Agreement (IOSEA) of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), a United Nations-sponsored drive.

It sets up a system through which States of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asian district, also as other concerned States, can cooperate to save and renew drained marine turtle populations for which they share the duty.


It’s anything but an implicit computerized field guide covering 29 types of freshwater turtles and turtles of India.

It was created by the Indian Turtle Conservation Action Network (ITCAN) as a team with the Turtle Survival Alliance-India and Wildlife Conservation Society-India.

World Turtle Day is observed each year on 23rd May.


As we all know, wildlife is a very important part of the ecosystem. Without wildlife, there is no earth. That’s why protecting our wildlife and nature is important. There are many species which went extinct and many species are on the verge of extinction. If this continues and we continue deforestation, the world will come to an end. Biologists and geologists all over the world are trying to spread awareness that we should protect our nature and we should all follow it. Humans don’t only have their responsibility towards their household, or country but, they also have a responsibility to protect the nature in which we are living.

What do you think about nature and how should we protect it? Ponder your thoughts in the comments section below.

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