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Annam Leaf Turtle (Mauremys annamensis)

Spring Brings a Buzz of Activity at the TSC

IMG_3930The Turtle Survival Center recently welcomed several groups of volunteers in late March and early April. On March 22, volunteers from Hofstra University and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences visited South Carolina and quickly got to work.

IMG_4005During their time there, the group worked with TSC staff to finish gathering the rest of the storm damage debris remaining after February's ice storm and cut down and removed broken limbs from one of the large trees on property. Additionally, the crew completely drained, cleaned and disinfected one of the existing ponds, then completed the installation of hardware cloth around the bottom of the chain link surrounding the pond. The hardware cloth was installed to make the fence "hatchling proof", ensuring that even the smallest turtles can not slip through.

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Turtle Survival Center Snapshot: The Collection

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!

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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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European Turtle Breeding Report 2008/2009

In recent years, the interest among European zoos and privates regarding breeding Asian turtles, with an emphasis on species of the genus Cuora, has been increasing (see also the TSA Newsletter 2008). This is due to the conservation status of a number of species (classified into the highest IUCN threat categories) and thus also the difficulty or impossibility of obtaining specimens.

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