Species Spotlight! Vietnamese Three-striped Box Turtle!
April 25, 2023
Celebrate DNA Day with Turtle Survival Alliance!
On this day in 1953, the structure of DNA was published. This achievement has not only served human-kind, but now serves critical to conservation actions for many species of animals, including turtles and tortoises.
Today’s Species Spotlights feature two species that have been heavily hybridized in captive propagation operations for the food, pet, and medicinal trades. Now that their wild populations are so low, DNA analysis is crucial to properly defining and managing genetically “pure” lines of these animals.
Turtle Survival Alliance partnered with Natalia Gallego and the Brad Shaffer Lab at UCLA to accurately verify the species identities of the Chinese and Vietnamese three-striped box turtles that we manage at the Turtle Survival Center.
First up, the Vietnamese Three-striped Box Turtle!
Common name: Vietnamese Three-striped Box Turtle
Scientific name:Cuora cyclornata
Countries of origin: China, Laos, Vietnam
Habitat: Hill streams and marshes in low to mid-elevation evergreen forests
Threats: Collection for the pet, food, and medicinal trades, habitat destruction, and genetic pollution through hybridization
Wild Population: Decreasing; estimated population reduction greater than 95%; fewer than 500 animals estimated to remain in the wild
Conservation: Captive breeding and assurance colonies; genetic studies and management; field surveys; protected in the wild in China and Vietnam; CITES Appendix II
**Turtle Survival Alliance strives to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please contact Jordan Gray at [email protected]**
For #TurtleMonth, April 22nd, to May 23rd, we are highlighting the 25 endangered species managed at our Turtle Survival Center, as well as the 8 native species that find refuge on our 51-acre property in South Carolina!