August 21, 2006

First captive hatchling of the Black-breasted Leaf Turtle (Geoemyda spengleri) at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.


In July, the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) celebrated its first successful birth of a black-breasted leaf turtle (Geoemyda spengleri). Weighing only 6.5g, the little turtle hatched on the 13th of July 2006 after an incubation period of 65 days (egg found 9th of May). 

This is the first hatchling of the species at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park.

The TCC only has two adult black-breasted leaf turtles, as they are uncommon in trade seizures due to their small size and low weight making them less valuable in comparison with other larger species.  Does this mean that the black-breasted leaf turtle is excluded from the trade altogether?  Hardly, according to Bui Dang Phong, manager of the TCC.  Phong says that the black-breasted leaf turtle is a popular pet species because of its size.  ?They are one of the most commonly observed turtle species for sale at Hanoi?s Dong Xuan market?.  Phong also notes that during a visit to Hong Kong in 2005, he observed dozens and dozens of black-breasted leaf turtles for sale in pet markets. 

In Vietnam, the black-breasted leaf turtle currently lacks specific protection under Vietnam?s wildlife protection laws. 

The black-breasted leaf turtle lives in mountain forest where it is humid and cool.  Adults grow to only about 11 cm.  The species known distribution includes northern Vietnam and southern China. 

Tim McCormack
Douglas Hendrie
Asian Turtle Program


For further information please contact:

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy
Asian Turtle Program
Tele.  04-775-3935

Douglas Hendrie
Asian Turtle Program Director
PO Box 222
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tele. 844-775-3935

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The Asian Turtle Program is a consortium of people and institutions dedicated to the protection of Asian turtles in the wild.  Principal support for the Asian Turtle Program comes from  the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Conservation International, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.  Project activities are supported by a range of institutions across the globe including the Melbourne Zoo, Shellshock, Taronga Zoo, Auckland Zoo, Humane Society International, Wildlife Volunteer Fund of Japan, WWF US, Houston Zoo, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Gardens, Bristol Zoo, and AZA.