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

1841 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 2017 Environment News Service   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1841 days ago   Article ID# 1547054

Wildlife Conservation Society    View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More Wildlife Conservation Society News

WCS spearheads conservation science for U.S. jaguar recovery plan

126 days ago From wcs.org 

BRONX, NEW YORK - ...

Good news for elephants for a change

167 days ago From huffingtonpost.com 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - ...

World’s nations take a stand to save the helmeted hornbill from extinction

205 days ago From voices.nationalgeographic.com 

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - ...

Hawai‘i signs nation’s broadest wildlife trafficking ban into law

300 days ago From humanesociety.org 

WASHINTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - ...

Poaching patrols raise hope for Thailand's tigers

382 days ago From news.sky.com 

ISLEWORTH, U K - ...

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

<< Return To Animal News

Action Center

CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

Action: Climate Change

Remember when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere hit a terrifying 400 parts per million (ppm)? That’s number’s old ...

Trump review threatens to rip up Obama protections for wilderness areas

Action: Wildlife Conservation

Donald Trump is triggering a review of protections that cover more than a billion acres of US public land and waters in a mov ...

Status of forests is 'dire' as world marks 2017 Earth Day

Action: Stop Deforestation

They cover a third of the world’s landmass, help to regulate the atmosphere, and offer shelter, sustenance and survival to mi ...

Nearly 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollution

Action: Stop Pollution

Nearly 40 million people in the UK are living in areas where illegal levels of air pollution from diesel vehicles risk damagi ...

Plans to drill for oil near newly discovered Amazon Reef alarm scientists

Action: Save Our Oceans

This time last year, scientists announced the discovery of a reef system at the mouth of the Amazon River that they said is q ...

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.