Radiated Tortoise
April 22, 2011
Turtle Survival Alliance Newsletter

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Forging new relationships in Madagascar to benefit radiated tortoises


Traditional dancing was a part of a celebration held to commemorate this village's commitment to tortoise conservation

Rick Hudson, TSA President, recently traveled to Madagascar with Christina Castellano of The Orianne Society. TSA and The Orianne Society are launching a partnership to develop strategies for saving the iconic symbol of Madagascar's southern spiny forest, the radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). Traveling with Herilala Randriamahazo (TSA's Head of Malagasy Tortoise Conservaton), the team visited several villages throughout the south to speak directly with the villagers and leaders who hold the key to preventing the extinction of this beautiful and highly endangered tortoise.


Click here to read their full trip report.


Arakan Forest Turtles Moved to New Facility in Myanmar


Arakan forest turtles enjoying  papaya in their new facility 

Kalyar Platt, the TSA's Turtle Conservation Coordinator in Myanmar, recently returned to Yangon from the newly completed Arakan forest turtle (Heosemys depressa) facility in Gwa, Rakhine Region at the Taung-Nyo Forest Reserve. She is coordinating TSA support for in-situ propagation and assurance colony development for H. depressa here.


During her visit, she transported six forest turtles (two males and four females) that the TSA received from the Mandalay Zoo for inclusion in the breeding program. You can read the report from her trip to the new facility by clicking here.

The TSA's first bloodline exchange for McCord's box turtle is completed 


cuora_mccordiThe TSA has recently completed its first exchange of the critically endangered McCord's box turtle (Cuora mccordi). This species is endemic to Guangxi Province, China and has been brought to the brink of extinction by the overwhelming and unsustainable trade of turtles in Southeast Asia. It is estimated that there are less than 300 individual Cuora mccordi left worldwide.

In October 2010, two subadult female Cuora mccordi that were captive bred in the Turtle Conservation Center at the Allwetter Zoo were shipped from Germany to Atlanta, Georgia. After waiting for the permitting process, the TSA then returned two completely unrelated subadult females bred in the U.S. to the Allwetter Zoo in February 2011.


This exchange is very important for the Cuora mccordi recovery plan because it improves genetic diversity within the captive populations in both the U.S. and Europe. The TSA plans to continue this type of exchange with Cuora mccordi and other critically endangered turtle species to insure the best possible genetically healthy future for captive managed species.