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Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora bouretti)

Construction and Community Outreach at the TSC

A siginificant milestone was reached last week at the Turtle Survival Center (TSC). The Center welcomed its 200th turtle for the year bringing the total number of animals at the Center to 508 individuals, representing 34 species! To accommodate the growing collection, the team continues to plan, design and build new enclosures.

The largest project that is currently underway is the Cuora Complex. This area will be home to some of the TSC's rarest species of the genus Cuora. The project began by first identifying the ideal location. Once the perfect site was located, the area was cleared in preparation for a concrete pad. With the pad in place, the team was ready to lay drainage pipes and enclose the area before filling it with dirt. The next phase of the project includes installing shallow ponds, planting trees for shade, providing additional areas for hiding or basking and erecting a security fence. Stay tuned for more updates as the project continues!

TSC staff members Nate Haislip and Carol Armell recently participated in a community outreach event at Cypress Gardens. The 170-acre preserve and garden attracts visitors from across the country to its beautiful bald cypress swamp and peaceful foot trails. Every month, Cypress Gardens invites all of the residents of Berkeley County to visit the park and get to know their neighbors. This month, TSC staff attended the event and brought along turtle ambassadors from the Center. The turtles were a hit with both kids and adults alike and gave Nate and Carol the opportunity to engage residents in the conservation efforts that were happening right in their backyard!

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TSA Europe Assists with Illegal Turtle Confiscations

july_confiscation_3Over the past few years in Hong Kong, large numbers of illegally imported and/or traded turtles have been confiscated. On one hand, these confiscations are a good sign of effective law enforcement, but on the other hand it indicates that the mass illegal trade in Asia is on-going. The CITES Hong Kong authorities, in close contact with the Kadoorie Farm Botanic Gardens (KFBG), has offered these confiscated turtles to the TSA for re-homing within TSA assurance colonies and breeding programs.
 
TSA Europe has played a vital role in re-homing significant numbers of turtles within the European zoos organized within the European Association for Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) and the privately managed European Studbook Foundation (ESF). The year 2010 was a particularly busy year for re-homing confiscated shipments.

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Turtles In Trouble

coverClick here  for a PDF version of the full report.

The plight of the planet's tortoises and turtles -- creatures that have roamed the Earth for 220 million years -- has never been greater, according to the newly released report "Turtles in Trouble: Top 25+ Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles ."  It shows the world's 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles will become extinct in the next few decades without concerted conservation efforts.

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Reintroduction preparations for captive bred Vietnamese Pond Turtles

The Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ) has worked since 1998 to promote tortoise and freshwater turtle (TFT) conservation through awareness, training and research activities.  The Mauremys annamensis Project (MAP) has focused on this critically endangered and endemic species in central Vietnam with a permanent field presence since 2007.  MAP activities have included surveys, community meetings and wildlife protection department training in key areas.  With the threats to this species now fully realised, it received full protection in 2006 under Vietnam’s principal wildlife protection law, Decree 32.

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