The only assurance colony of one of the rarest turtle species on earth resided in buckets on a university rooftop in China boiling in the sun."
We changed this within a week and created suitable enclosures. This resulted in frequent reproduction of this elusive species, once considered extinct not to long ago, and gives us hope for its future survival.
Thanks to our captive breeding knowledge with the Genus Cuora we also try to help internationally to teach the skills to successfully maintain them in captivity.
We visited the University of Kunming back in 2011 to see the only captive assurance colony of Cuora yunnanensis, a species that was believed to be extinct for nearly a century, until a female appeared in the chinese trade back in 2004.
While the clear will to provide the animals with good husbandry was there, we soon learned that the skills lacked. So we changed our travelplans and spend a week to train the staff and setup a decent breeding facility. With success as we still hear, since hatchlings are now produced on a yearly basis.
Apart from this we are following up rumours of potential new wild Populations of this elusive species on a frequent basis. While one Habitat was found by the University Staff led by Professor Rao Ding Qi back in 2006, this populations seems to be extirpated by now, but still specimens occassionally enter the chinese pet trade. As such they still seem to exist somewhere. Yunnan is sparsely populated by chinese means and traveling to potential habitats can require several days via barely existing "roads" in mountain valleys.
Our last field research in 2017 provided valuable data of a potentially remaining new population. We hope to return there soon to gather further data.