In keeping with our mission statement, theTurtleRoom’s staff make a special effort to be involved in conservation projects beyond private breeding. We are involved in numerous conservation projects with the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Our flagship projects are featured on this page. Visit our Projects section to see all of the projects our team is working with.
The Forsten’s Tortoise is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is also listed in CITES Appendix I. Ben has been a significant part of the conservation effort of Indotestudo forstenii for more than a decade. He was the first publisher and coordinator of this studbook. Ben continues to maintain a strong presence in the AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Studbook for the Forsten’s Tortoise, as he keeps more than 25% of the animals registered in the SSP and Studbook.
The Vietnamese Black-Breasted Leaf Turtle is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is also listed in CITES Appendix II. Anthony and Steve have a growing group listed in the AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Studbook for Geoemyda spengleri. Their adult female is a steady producer, typically laying 3 single-egg clutches per year. There is a need for males in the SSP, so our offspring have been incubated at lower temperatures in hopes of producing males, as it is unknown whether this species is TSD. Joe is also working with this species currently, but his animals are not currently part of the SSP.
theTurtleRoom is a leader in the conservation effort of the Western Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni hermanni), managing and publishing the North American Regional Studbook, which is written and coordinated by our own Chris Leone (also of Garden State Tortoise, LLC) and Steve Enders. Steve and Chris continue to collaborate on this growing project, releasing a new edition annually — the 3rd edition is the most recent. Within the past year, DNA was taken on most of the animals in the studbook and results have helped us make adjustments as we continue to shape the studbook for greatest success. More details on the genetic results will be available in 2016 as we study the results and publish our findings. For more information on the Western Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni hermanni) North American Regional Studbook, read the official release. For more about this species, visit Garden State Tortoise’s Hermanni Haven.
Pyxis arachnoides arachnoides is one of Anthony’s passion projects. In addition to keeping this group of tortoises, Anthony has also contributed financially to TSA’s Madagascar Program for the conservation of all Madagascar’s tortoise species. This tortoise is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is also listed in CITES Appendix II. Anthony’s 5 young Common Spider Tortoises are part of the AZA Studbook for the species, their parents under the care of Knoxville Zoo’s Michael Ogle, the studbook coordinator for Pyxis arachnoides, Pyxis planicauda, and Astrochelys radiata. In addition to Anthony’s efforts, Ben is working with the brygooi subspecies.
Manouria emys emys is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is also listed in CITES Appendix II. Ben has a small group that is part of the AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Studbook for the species. This group still has some growing to do before they reproduce.
The Ringed Map Turtle is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, is listed in CITES Appendix III, and is also listed in the ESA. Steve’s 2.1 group is involved in the AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP) and Studbook for the species. This SSP still has relatively few animals, so the potential exists for these three animals to be an important part of the conservation effort of Graptemys oculifera. This group still has some growing to do before they will be ready to reproduce, and Steve hopes to become further involved with the effort to conserve Graptemys oculifera.
The Cuora flavomarginata Taxon Management Group and the Turtle Survival Alliance are working to raise a group of 300 genetically diverse F1 specimens. Anthony has taken on a group of 3.2 hatchlings from the TSA to raise up and make happy so they produce generations of F2s. Ultimately, the hope is that a large group of F2s will be able to be part of a reintroduction program into the range country. The Yellow-Margined Box Turtle is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is also listed in CITES Appendix II.