This is the second of a three-part series in our blog, highlighting the progress that has been made in our first year at the Turtle Survival Center (TSC).
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While the flurry of construction at the Turtle Survival Center (TSC) has been exciting, a new building pales in comparison to a new building filled with turtles and tortoises! It has been very gratifying to see animals being moved on site over the past year – more than 330 individuals, representing 27 species, so far and counting. The TSA had a large collection that was being managed at the Savannah River Ecology Lab and those turtles have all been relocated to the Center. Additionally, many other animals that were being held by zoos, private individuals and other partners are now calling South Carolina home and the collection is growing rapidly. Our staff has also grown and we now have four full-time employees handling a very ambitious work load. It is truly impressive seeing all that this team has been able to accomplish.
By bringing all of these animals together on site, we will be able to efficiently manage assurance colonies for these species that were selected based on their conservation need and manageability in captivity.
As a testament to the fact that the new turtles are settling in nicely, we have already welcomed two hatchlings to the collection! The first, a Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis), arrived in September, followed shortly thereafter by a Red-necked Pond Turtle (Mauremys nigricans). We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings!