NAFTRG 2014: The Year of the Volunteer

by Eric Munscher  This year has been a great one for the North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group (NAFTRG) for many reasons, none more so than because of the incredible volunteers that made it all possible. The group captured and processed more turtles in 2014 than in any other year since the project launched in 1999.…

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Visitors to the TSC in December

by Heather Lowe  We’d like to extend a huge thanks to the volunteers from the North Carolina Zoo who helped out recently at the Turtle Survival Center (TSC). With the help of the hard-working Zoo staff, the team was able to make progress on a variety of construction projects, including erecting a chain link fence around…

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Joel Sartore Visits TSA India

by Heather Lowe  Acclaimed photographer, Joel Sartore recently visited TSA project site Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Center (KGRC) in Lucknow, India. Joel was there to work on his biodiversity project, Photo Ark. To date, Joel has photographed almost 4,200 species with the goal of raising public awareness of animals at risk. Prior to his visit to KGRC…

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Is the Tide Turning for Madagascar’s Tortoises?

by Heather Lowe  After nearly 30 hours in transit on three flights, and bone tired, I returned from Madagascar just in time for Thanksgiving. But with a few days to put things into perspective, I was ready to share my impressions about TSA’s work to reduce tortoise poaching: in brief, I believe the tide is beginning to…

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Star Tortoise Reintroduction Progressing Well in Myanmar

by Steve Platt  Efforts to reestablish a wild population of Burmese star tortoises (Geochelone platynota) at a wildlife sanctuary in central Myanmar continued apace during November 2014 when we liberated 50 headstarted tortoises from a temporary pen where they had been held for the past 12 months. Captive-bred subadult tortoises from several   assurance colonies in Myanmar…

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Captive Reproduction of Arakan Forest Turtles

by Steve Platt  On 21 November, we were elated to learn that a female Arakan Forest Turtle (Heosemys depressa), one of 14 adults held in an assurance colony at Gwa (Headquarters of the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary), had deposited a clutch of five eggs only days before. This is the second successful nesting by a female H.…

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Disappointment in Myanmar

by Heather Lowe  Our efforts to secure a large female Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska), believed to be the sole surviving representative of her species in Myanmar, came to a disappointing conclusion in November when the Board of Trustees at Botataung Pagoda refused to grant final permission for us to remove the aged turtle to a captive-breeding facility.…

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