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Zoos with the rarest / most endangered freshwater turtles

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 16 Nov 2020.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I was looking at the fairly recent news of the arrival of the Malagasy big headed turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) at Jersey zoo in the UK which is now the only place outside of Madagascar to hold this species.

    Freshwater turtles are an incredibly threatened group of reptiles for many reasons and are therefore kept ex-situ by many zoos for captive breeding / insurance populations. This gives us zoochatters the chance to view these animals in all their strange beauty even as their populations are being decimated in the wild.

    I was thinking it might be interesting to create a thread solely on this topic and listing the zoos around the world where some of these rare turtles that are in such peril in the wild can be seen in captivity.

    What vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered freshwater turtles do you know of being kept by zoos ?
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2020
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  2. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member

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    San Diego Zoo has remarkable turtle collection with many rare species.
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    What species are kept there and what are the enclosures like ?
     
  4. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member

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    The enclosures are not huge, but really well executed. You can check this species list and I will check for some pictures from the Repile Walk.

    San Diego Zoo Complete Species List [San Diego Zoo]
     
  5. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    So that is quite interesting as on one of the lists posted on that thread it states that Malagasy big headed turtles are kept at San Diego too whereas I thought they were only kept ex-situ at Jersey. :confused:
     
  6. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking San Diego as well, really the only place that has a lot of different turtle species, mostly endangered. Madagascar big headed turtles are also kept at Omaha In their Madagascar building last time I was there.
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Seems like the species is not being kept at just Jersey then and is being kept ex-situ amongst zoos around the world. A wise policy indeed by the looks of it given how threatened it is in Madagascar.
     
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  8. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Suzhou Zoo immediately comes to mind with their Yangtze Softshell Turtle.
     
  9. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think so too. Just out of interest, where did you hear that Jersey was the only zoo in ex-situ keeping this species?
     
  10. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    I cant believe its still alive.
     
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    That is a really good example, thanks for sharing !

    The case of the Yangtze softshell turtle is a tragic one and even more so considering the steep challenges of getting a captive breeding program going.

    Also very interesting considering the cultural importance of these turtles in China and Vietnam.
     
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  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    They stated it on their website / blog I believe.
     
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  13. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    Do you think the Yangtze river softshell turtles are a lost cause? Because I sure do.
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I don't like to think any species is a lost cause but the Yangtze softshell turtle like many other species native to that river is in a very bad way and it seems likely that it will go the same way as the Chinese paddlefish and Baiji which is heartbreaking.

    In terms of this particular species what I can say is that I hope for the best but realistically speaking I expect the worst.
     
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  15. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, thats mainly what I meant. Chinese paddlefish are extinct??? :eek:
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, they were declared as such fairly recently if I remember rightly.
     
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  17. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    :(...................................................
    I didnt know that. They were such a unique freshwater fish. :(
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    They were indeed, but lets not get too off-topic here with fish as this is a thread about freshwater turtles.

    So what other endangered species of turtles have you seen in zoos ?
     
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  19. CheeseChameleon2007

    CheeseChameleon2007 Well-Known Member

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    I mean, for tortoises I could give you a bunch. Painted terrapin is a pretty turtle that I think I might have seen.
     
  20. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    No, but specifically for aquatic freshwater turtles.

    The painted terrapin is an interesting species, another critically endangered turtle from Asia, where did you see this species kept ?