Dr Craig B Stanford, a professor of Biological Science and Anthropology at the University of Southern California, has laid emphasis on educating people in Bangladesh about turtles and tortoises to avoid their extinction.
He also encouraged young people to become environmentally more aware and interested saying their role is critical.
Prof Stanford stressed the urgency to save globally endangered species of turtles and tortoises, including in Bangladesh, and discussed some possible cooperative plans. He spoke at an interactive session - WildHour - held at Cosmos Centre in the city on Saturday as key speaker discussing the global scenario of endangered and near extinct species of tortoise and turtle alongside the reasons responsible for it.
The event, titled 'Turtles in Trouble: Conservation Priorities in the 21st Century', was arranged by Noazesh Knowledge Centre (NKC), an endeavour of WildTeam where around 100 participants, including university students, teachers, researchers and conservation professionals, were present. Prof Stanford mentioned that the rarest of turtles as well as tortoises that need to be preserved are found in Asia. "Many of the tortoises and turtles which are found in captivity, are extinct in the wild," he said.
Prof Stanford said the success rate of saving endangered turtle and tortoise species is very low. He also pointed out key reasons behind the endangerment and extinction of tortoise and turtle species which are --- loss of habitat, serving as food in central Asia and pet trading. "The financial scale of illegal wildlife trading rivals that of drugs trading," he added.
Dr Craig stressed raising awareness and dedication of people to save the species of turtles and tortoises which are endangered and near extinct. WildTeam CEO Dr Anwarul Islam also spoke at the event highlighting the need for such sessions and encouraged the participants to learn from it.
Prof Stanford is a renowned wildlife expert who has worked in countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Northern India and more. He is the Chair of IUCN Tortoise/Freshwater Turtle Specialists Group, 2017-2021.