Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Endangered Indochinese box turtles at Nordens Ark

Today, four Indochinese box turtles, one male and three females, are moving into Nordens Ark. This summer, visitors will be able to see them in the newly built Turtle Ark, which will be inaugurated in the beginning of June.

The Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) is 15 – 20 cm long with a tall, beautiful and mahogany-colored shell. Fot that it’s desirable among collectors which is why this species is listed as critically endangered.

The turtles arrived from the Terrarium in Vissenbjer, yesterday.

"These are four genetically important turtles," Jimmy Helgesson, keeper of the turtles at Nordens Ark says. There are very few individuals in the European studbook and these are not related to the others. This makes them an important addition to the strive to save the remaining species.

Indochinese box turtle. Photo: Jimmy Helgesson

Very few individuals remain in the wild. The species is found in high-altitude, humid forests in northern Vietnam, Laos and on the island of Hainan in China. It is terrestrial and feeds on everything from insects and worms to fall fruit.

Nordens Ark will be one of the few facilities in Europe that holds the species. Together we are fighting for the survival of the species.


Turtle Ark – a haven for some of the world's most endangered turtles
Turtles that have existed on Earth for more than 200 million years are today one of the world's most endangered animal groups and more than 60% of them are threatened with extinction.

The situation is most acute in Asia, where all of the nearly 100 turtle species are endangered. Of species that were once numerous in lakes and river systems, today only a few hundred individuals exist, sometimes as few as a few dozen.

To preserve some of the world's most endangered turtles, Nordens Ark is now building a unique breeding center where some of the world's most vulnerable species can get a safe haven and reproduce for future releases.