cool-critters

cool-critters:

Spiny turtle (Heosemys spinosa)

The spiny turtle is known from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Sadly this species is highly endangered!

It inhabits lowland and hill rainforest, usually in the vicinity of small streams, mainly in hill areas up to 900 m above sea level.

Mating behaviour appears to be triggered by rain; in captivity, spraying males with water results in them chasing females and attempting to mount. Nothing is known of nesting behaviour in the wild.

photo credits: zooborns, myviadventures

libutron
libutron:

Radiated Tortoise - Astrochelys radiata
Now listed as Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red Lit, Astrochelys radiata (Testudinidae), endemic to the spiny forest of southern Madagascar, had virtually never been studied in the wild until the late 1990s.
Recent research projects and surveys have contributed to defining the extent of the decline of the species, and it now appears that A. radiata faces serious extinction risks unless current trends are halted.
This species is heavily harvested for food and for the pet trade. In wild mature females of this species produce up to three clutches per season with only 1–5 eggs per clutch, leading to an estimated average production of two clutches of four eggs each per breeding female.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Bernard Dupont | Locality: Toliara, Madagascar (2013)

libutron:

Radiated Tortoise - Astrochelys radiata

Now listed as Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red Lit, Astrochelys radiata (Testudinidae), endemic to the spiny forest of southern Madagascar, had virtually never been studied in the wild until the late 1990s.

Recent research projects and surveys have contributed to defining the extent of the decline of the species, and it now appears that A. radiata faces serious extinction risks unless current trends are halted.

This species is heavily harvested for food and for the pet trade. In wild mature females of this species produce up to three clutches per season with only 1–5 eggs per clutch, leading to an estimated average production of two clutches of four eggs each per breeding female.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Bernard Dupont | Locality: Toliara, Madagascar (2013)

Hey New Englanders: Baby Turtle Search and Release
Sponsored by Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (Cape Cod, MA)
Sat, Sep 13, 2014 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Pre-registration required
In early September, turtle hatchlings come out of their eggshells. We’ll start with a story, then walk through several habitats at the sanctuary, hoping to see young turtles emerging from their nests or crawling on the trails, and possibly even aid in their release. We may see baby box turtles in the field, painted turtles at the pond, and diamondback terrapins in the salt marsh. Everyone will make a turtle craft to take home…
(read more: Mass Audubon)

Hey New Englanders: Baby Turtle Search and Release

Sponsored by Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (Cape Cod, MA)

Sat, Sep 13, 2014 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Pre-registration required

In early September, turtle hatchlings come out of their eggshells. We’ll start with a story, then walk through several habitats at the sanctuary, hoping to see young turtles emerging from their nests or crawling on the trails, and possibly even aid in their release. We may see baby box turtles in the field, painted turtles at the pond, and diamondback terrapins in the salt marsh. Everyone will make a turtle craft to take home…

(read more: Mass Audubon)

TSA Tuesday: Loggerhead Musk Turtle 
 This week the spotlight is on the Loggerhead Musk Turtle (Sternotherus minor minor) which can be found in Central Florida, Georgia and Eastern Alabama. This shy species is highly aquatic, rarely leaving the water except to nest or occasionally bask on the knee of a cypress tree. They commonly inhabit clear limestone springs, rivers and streams. Their varied diet consists of aquatic insects, crayfish, plants, carrion, snails and mussels. 
* A juvenile is pictured.
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Tuesday: Loggerhead Musk Turtle

This week the spotlight is on the Loggerhead Musk Turtle (Sternotherus minor minor) which can be found in Central Florida, Georgia and Eastern Alabama. This shy species is highly aquatic, rarely leaving the water except to nest or occasionally bask on the knee of a cypress tree. They commonly inhabit clear limestone springs, rivers and streams. Their varied diet consists of aquatic insects, crayfish, plants, carrion, snails and mussels.

* A juvenile is pictured.

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

Forest Hinge-back Tortoise (Kinixys erosa) will have none of your nonsense. The Turtle Conservancy has studied and bred this rare species in captivity, but the most important conservation work happens in the wild. It is not well understood how well this rarely seen turtle is surviving in changing wetland habitats in central and Western Africa.
(via: Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center)

Forest Hinge-back Tortoise (Kinixys erosa) will have none of your nonsense. The Turtle Conservancy has studied and bred this rare species in captivity, but the most important conservation work happens in the wild. It is not well understood how well this rarely seen turtle is surviving in changing wetland habitats in central and Western Africa.

(via: Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center)

Head Start For Troubled Turtles:

Baby Blanding’s Turtles raised at Detroit Zoo released in Saginaw County national wildlife refuge

by Lindsay Knake

In an effort to increase the number of rare Blanding’s turtles in Michigan, the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge partnered with the Detroit Zoo five years ago. In that time, they have raised and released 147 Blanding’s turtles into the refuge’s waters.

"If it weren’t for the Detroit Zoo, this wouldn’t be happening," refuge manager, Steve Kahl said. "Who knows how long it’s been since we’ve had 147 new Blanding’s turtles in the refuge?"

Blanding’s turtles are threatened in Michigan and endangered in some states because of the loss of wetland habitat, increase in roads and the rise of the raccoon population that eats the turtles’ eggs, Kahl said…

(read more: Michigan Live)

photos: Tina Shaw/USFWS and Jeff Schrier

Marineland’s Whitney Lab holds sea turtle hospital ‘groundbreaking’ Saturday

by Dinah Voyles Pulver

The University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience hopes to open a new hospital for rehabilitating sea turtles early next year and is inviting the public to a groundbreaking Saturday morning.

The laboratory has worked for more than a year to get the hospital started at Marineland, said Jessica Long, director of development for the lab. Scientists at the center also plan to conduct research on sea turtle diseases, such as the fibropapillomatosis tumors that plague many sea turtles. The laboratory will renovate existing facilities to make way for the sea turtle center…

(read more: Daytona beach News-Journal)

Orienne Society (Herpetological Conservation):

"Coinciding with, finally, some milder south Georgia temperatures, this small Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) emerged from its mucky cocoon in a dry swamp and moved in search of water. (I do wish my colleagues cleaned up so well.) The kitten basket of small Spiny Softshells (Apalone spinifera), featuring both hatchlings and yearlings, were discovered buried in a sandbar of the Oconee River.”

- text and photos by Dirk Stevenson

usfwspacific

Cold-blooded reptile smugglers feel the heat: Fish and Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Agents break up international animal trafficking ring

usfwspacific:

Nathaniel Swanson thought that he had it all figured out. His Everett, Washington reptile store provided the perfect cover. His contacts in China were trustworthy and reliable. His customers were discreet. He had a system, a ring of effective black market animal traffickers that brought him hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal profit.

But one moment of laziness on the part of his Hong Kong partners, one alert delivery service package handler, and timely intervention by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s special agents brought his ring down. His illegal wildlife trafficking activities cost him a year of time in prison and tens of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.  

image

Wood turtles, threatened in the United States, were among the reptiles sent to China by Swanson’s smuggling ring. Credit: Colin Osborn/USFWS

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