Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Relocation Of Endangered Chinese Turtle May Save Species

Date:
May 23, 2008
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
There are only four specimens of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle left on Earth -- one in the wild and three in captivity. In order to save this species from extinction, conservation partners recently paired two of them. Listed at the top of the World Conservation Union's Red List, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the most critically endangered turtle in the world.

Conservationists hoping to save the Yangtze giant softshell turtle from extinction are hoping that this female (basking beside the water's edge) will mate with the only known male of the species (in the water).
Credit: Gerald Kuchling/TSA

There are only four specimens of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle left on Earth--one in the wild and three in captivity. In order to save this species from extinction, conservation partners from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), working in conjunction with partners from two Chinese zoos and the China Zoo Society, recently paired two of them. A still reproductive, more than 80-year-old, female, living in China's Changsha Zoo has been introduced to the only known male in China, a more than 100-year-old living more than 600 miles away at the Suzhou Zoo.

On Monday, May 5, turtle biologists, veterinarians, and zoo staff from partner organizations convened at the Changsha Zoo to collect and transport the female to the Suzhou Zoo where she joined her new mate to potentially save their entire species. The move was coordinated to coincide with the female's reproductive cycle.

"This is a story of hope for a species truly on the brink," said Colin Poole, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Asia Programs. "We are extremely grateful to our conservation partners both in China and here in the U.S. who made this historic move possible. Now that the turtles are together, we are optimistic that they will successfully breed."

"I hate to call this a desperation move, but it really was. With only one female known worldwide, and given that we have lost three captive specimens over the past two years, what choice did we have" The risks related to moving her were certainly there, but doing nothing was much riskier," said Rick Hudson, TSA co-chair and Fort Worth Zoo conservation biologist.

Listed at the top of the World Conservation Union's Red List, the Yangtze giant softshell turtle is the most critically endangered turtle in the world. Its status in the wild has long been recognized as grim, but extinction risk now is believed higher than ever. Much of its demise has been attributed to pollution, over-harvesting for Asian food markets and habitat alteration. Biologists saw no other alternative but to save the species by any means necessary.

Still, the risks were high--relocating an animal this age can be highly stressful for it and research shows that breeding attempts by males can become aggressive. However, since the female has arrived safely and is settling well into her new habitat at the Suzhou Zoo, biologists are optimistic for breeding success.

The Bronx Zoo-based WCS and the Fort Worth Zoo-based TSA coordinated the critically important move; TSA provided much of the funding, animal reproduction and technical expertise while WCS provided veterinary and logistical support and coordination with wildlife partners in China and New York. Other project partners include Ocean Park and Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, both in Hong Kong.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Relocation Of Endangered Chinese Turtle May Save Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080521154206.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2008, May 23). Relocation Of Endangered Chinese Turtle May Save Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080521154206.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Relocation Of Endangered Chinese Turtle May Save Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080521154206.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins