HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Rescue Planned for World's Most Endangered Turtles

Environment News Service

1078 days ago   Article ID# 1547054
Original URL

 

Wildlife Conservation Society

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (Environment News Service) - The Wildlife Conservation Society announced that it would "take direct responsibility" for the survival of some of the world's most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.

So many of these animals are being collected, traded, eaten and used for medicine that they are being pushed into extinction. In addition, their habitats are being fragmented, destroyed, developed, and polluted.

Based at New York's Bronx Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society has developed a new strategy to prevent the extinction of at least half of the species in a 2011 report by WCS and other groups that lists the world's 25 most endangered turtles and tortoises.

Four top-priority Critically Endangered species will be protected first, says WCS, which plans to reduce the numbers of turtles caught for the commercial trade and reduce the numbers of aquatic turtles that die by drowning in fishing nets.

The four species are: the Burmese starred tortoise, Geochelone platynota, the Burmese roofed turtle, Batagur trivittata, the Southern River terrapin, Batagur affinis, and the Central American river turtle, Dermatemys mawii.

The organization plans to safeguard the endangered turtles by working with governments to react rapidly in nations that are centers of turtle diversity, such as Cambodia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), and Vietnam.

"WCS is a leading organization in the development of comprehensive strategies that combine field and zoo conservation to save this major taxonomic group from an extinction crisis," said Dr. Steve Sanderson, WCS president and chief executive. "We have the expertise in our parks, in our health program, and in our global conservation field program to meet this challenge."

Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, the nonprofit opened the Bronx Zoo to the public in November 1899. Its success led WCS to acquire four more wildlife parks during the 20th century: the Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo, the Prospect Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium.

Jim Breheny, WCS executive vice president and Bronx Zoo director, said, "This has been the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society from the very beginning, to bring its expertise for the achievement of one conservation goal: saving species from extinction. More than a century ago, WCS led the way to save the American bison from extinction in North America by breeding animals at the Bronx Zoo and sending their offspring to wild places in the west. Now our zoos, zoological health program, and field conservationists plan to do the same for some of the world's most endangered turtles."

To ensure survival of the endangered turtles and tortoises, WCS will use its four zoos and aquarium, its global wildlife health program, and its conservation field programs.

WCS will breed and reintroduce some species and and protect others with field work. For another group of species, the scientists will develop assurance colonies, captive groups of animals maintained so that no genetic diversity is lost.

Assurance colonies will be developed at WCS's zoos and aquarium in New York, and with partners such as Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the Turtle Survival Alliance, Turtle Conservancy, and the Asian Turtle Program. Species now are being evaluated for that purpose.

WCS has plans to begin recovery of other species suited for zoo breeding programs within the United States. Turtles hatched through this effort will be quarantined at a biosecure facility at the Bronx Zoo, then transferred to holding facilities in their range countries to begin reintroduction programs.

Finally, WCS plans to establish a captive breeding and head-starting program for imperiled turtle species native to New York State to supplement remaining wild populations. Off-exhibit, outdoor enclosures will be constructed at the Bronx Zoo for several species, including the spotted turtle, Cyclemys gutatta, Eastern box turtle, Carolina terrapene, and wood turtle, Glyptemys insculpta.

Dr. Paul Calle, WCS chief veterinarian, said the organization's zoological health staff will ensure that "turtles we breed at our zoos are in the best possible health prior to their release into the wild, and ensure that diseases are not introduced to wild populations during these release efforts."

"WCS has more than a century of experience caring for reptiles at our zoos and we are confident we can help supplement wild populations with zoo-bred animals," said Dr. Calle.

Turtles and tortoises need all the help they can get.

"Turtles throughout the world are being impacted by a variety of major threats, to which many are gradually succumbing," write the authors of the 2011 report, "Shellshock: The 25 Most Endangered Turtles in the World."

"Populations are shrinking nearly everywhere. Species worldwide are threatened and vulnerable, many are critically endangered, others teeter on the very brink of extinction, and a few have already been lost forever, with eight species and two subspecies having gone extinct since 1500," according to the report, authored by scientists from WCS as well as from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the IUCN Species Survival Commission, Conservation International, the Turtle Conservation Fund, the Turtle Survival Alliance, the Turtle Conservancy/Behler Chelonian Center, the Chelonian Research Foundation and San Diego Zoo Global.

To help promote worldwide turtle conservation, WCS is asking Congress to fully fund the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Without Borders Program, whose Critically Endangered Animals Conservation Fund supports several freshwater turtle and tortoise conservation projects around the world.

In addition to its efforts to conserve terrestrial and freshwater turtles, WCS continues conservation efforts for on sea turtles in Nicaragua, Gabon, Sulawesi, and Madagascar.

Copyright 2015 Environment News Service   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1078 days ago   Article ID# 1547054

Wildlife Conservation Society    View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More Wildlife Conservation Society News

Conservationists announce program to protect East Africa's largest elephant population

13 days ago From news.mongabay.com 

MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ...

Leonardo DiCaprio to partner with Netflix for environmental films

20 days ago From digitalspy.co.uk 

LONDON, U K - ...

Kill a manta ray, go to jail

50 days ago From takepart.com 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - ...

Leonardo DiCarpio’s pet tortoise and his commitment to the cause of animal conservation

55 days ago From celebeat.com 

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - ...

Cinderella' tiger orphan returns to wild, meets prince

56 days ago From mnn.com 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next >> 

<< Return To Animal News

Action Center

Obama: Reject KXL once and for all

Action: Climate Change

President Obama has pledged to veto the Keystone XL bill being pushed through Congress by climate-denying conservatives. But ...

Zoos Victoria unveils $30m plan to save 20 Australian species from extinction

Action: Wildlife Conservation

Zoos Victoria has unveiled a groundbreaking $30m “master plan” to save 20 key species from extinction, with the federal gover ...

Kenya loses 5.6 million trees daily

Action: Stop Deforestation

Eighty four-year-old Kalekye Kyundua has depended on firewood for domestic use in her lifetime.

Having known n ...

America's biggest methane plume -- Take action

Action: Stop Pollution

This past fall NASA scientists discovered a large red blob on a national map hovering over northwest New Mexico -- a problem, ...

Give right whales the habitat they need

Action: Save Our Oceans

With fewer than 500 individuals remaining, North Atlantic right whales are one of the most endangered species on Earth. And y ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.