October 5, 2006
New enclosure expands captive holding capacity for the endangered keeled box turtle, Cuora mouhotii
In September, work was completed on a new 64m2 turtle enclosure constructed for the endangered keeled box tortoise (Cuora mouhotii) at the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center (TCC).. The keeled box turtle is native to Cuc Phuong National Park and is one of five focus species for the center?s conservation breeding program.
The new cage was constructed to allow captive box turtles greater freedom of movement within a larger environment, enhance potential for breeding, and reduce stress through environmental enrichment.
The new environment includes several shallow pools, a small hill with rock caves for hiding, and abundant leaf litter. Although ground vegetation will be planted, in Vietnam, it will take only about a year to establish a healthy and dense layer of ground vegetation typical of keeled box turtle habitat.
Ten Cuora mouhotii confiscated from the illegal trade by Da Nang Forest Protection Department in March 2006 will be moved into the new enclosure once environmental enrichment preparations are complete.
The TCC currently holds about 1,100 turtles representing 18 of 25 species native to Vietnam. All of the turtles at the TCC were either confiscated from the illegal trade or born in captivity at the center.
Submitted to the ATCN by: Tim McCormack and Doug Hendrie
For more information, please contact:
The Asian Turtle Program
Bui Dang Phong, TCC manager
Asian Turtle Conservation Website