by Jordan Gray
Autumn is always a busy time at the Turtle Survival Center as we welcome new members of endangered species of turtles and tortoises into the world. In the last two months we have greeted an additional seven species of terrestrial and freshwater turtle to the TSC.
1. Southeast Asian Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis) – Two specimens hatched on 6 September and 12 October 2017 respectively. This Vulnerable species has been exploited heavily for the food and pet trades and as such has experienced significant declines throughout its range.
2. Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) – Two specimens hatched on 20 August and 7 September 2017 respectively. The Indochinese Box Turtle, native to China, Laos, and Vietnam is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.
3. Southern Vietnamese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata) – One specimen hatched on 24 September 2017. This represents the first-ever hatching of this species for the Turtle Survival Center. A Critically Endangered species, C. picturata is native to the Langbian Plateau of southeastern Vietnam.
4. Home’s Hinge-back Tortoise (Kinixys homeana) – One specimen hatched on 10 August 2017, bringing our yearly total to three for this species. A forest-dwelling species from western Africa, Home’s Hinge-back Tortoise have experienced significant declines due to harvesting for the food and pet trades.
5. Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) – Twenty one hatchlings emerged from their eggs this Autumn beginning on 10 August 2017, with five more pipping their eggs today! This species is Critically Endangered in the wild, yet significant strides have been made in reproducing this species in captivity in recent years.
6. Red-necked Pond Turtle (Mauremys nigricans) – Sixteen hatchlings of this Critically Endangered species native to China began hatching on 23 September 2017. This species is considered functionally extinct in the wild, as no populations have been found in the wild in recent years despite ongoing surveys.
7. Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) – Seven hatchlings emerged on 17 September 2017. At home in montane streams of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, this species is considered Endangered by the IUCN.