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Paving the path to a brighter future - Cuora cyclornata hatchlings

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

When we recognised that Cuora cyclornata and Cuora trifasciata are two entirely different species 15 years ago, one of our biggest tasks was to learn which specimens represent which species in captive assurance colonies. In a joint collaboration with Allwetter Zoo Münster, the Turtle Survival Alliance, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, the DGHT, the University of Potsdam and the European Studbook Foundation, we managed this task and soon knew that we had potential founder stock of every species and subspecies, but scattered among different collections. Of even greater concern, we realised that many of the scattered specimens had produced hybrid offspring. We began to tidy up said colonies by creating pure assurance groups in different Zoos and private facilities, all managed in the respective Studbooks.

In the early 2010's the first breeding successes were reported, new bloodlines were created in Europe and the US, and Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden provided specimens from Hong Kong confiscations to further increase assurance colony diversity. After nearly a decade, the breeding groups are thriving and are producing hatchlings every year. Future goals include finding new keepers who are willing to work within the Studbook and loaned specimens template, and to pave the path for these species back into their countries of origin for future reintroduction programs.

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