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New Developments at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Vietnam

2014 has seen many significant developments at the turtle conservation centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. The TCC, with support from the Asian Turtle program (ATP), has made some new additions to the centre.  One of the new pieces of equipment is an incubator chiller, this specially built unit has been constructed from a modified drinks chiller with three heated incubation boxes inside. This allows for the TCC to incubate eggs at three different temperatures between 25oC and 30°C even in the summer. Normally the TCC struggles in maintaining some incubation temperatures when ambient room temperatures can easily reach over 35°C in the summer, much too high for some of the sensitive box turtle species such as Bourret’s Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) and the Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii). Now these eggs can be effectively cooled.  Similarly for warmer species such as the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) more stable conditions can also be maintained. A solar system also means that the incubator can run even during power cuts, which sometimes can last for weeks on end in the remote national park. Thank you to Rotterdam zoo and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for supporting the incubator set up.

incubator chiller
Above: The new incubator chiller allows the TCC to maintain preferred incubation temperatures for priority species regardless of the ambient temperatures. Photo by: Do Thanh Hao TCC

Improvements have also been made to the aquatic hatchling building and new secure cages have been constructed, one to house a group of Keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii) for breeding, supported by Bristol zoo in the UK. The other secure page is being constructed for the Vietnamese pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis) with secure, predator proof cage tops also having been built for juvenile animals, which are being maintained outdoors. This includes some of the earliest hatchlings of Bourret’s Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) which are now almost reaching maturity at 10 years old. The Vietnamese Pond Turtle enclosure and juvenile enclosures have been supported by Rotterdam zoo, Munster Zoo and Herbert Becker.

new solar power
Above: New solar panels on the visitor centre roof ensure the incubation system can run year-round. Photo by: Do Thanh Hao - TCC

turtle cage
Above: A newly completed secure cage, just needs planting out and the stream completing and the new 84m2 enclosure will be ready for a breeding group of Keeled Box Turtles. Photo by: Do Thanh Hao - TCC


secure cape

Above:New predator proof enclosures for juveniles to be held outside. Photo by: Do Thanh Hao - TCC




Below: A hatchling Bourret’s Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) from 2014, with the new incubator we hope to improve hatchling success in this critical species. Photo by: Sarah Wah

Indotestudo elongata

Above: Some of the Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) hatchlings from 2014 who will benefit from a warm over wintering room this winter. Photo by: Pham Van Thong – ATP

Indotestudo elongata hatchling
Above: An Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) hatchling emerges in February 2014, one of over 36. Photo by: Sarah Wahl

Coura bourreti hatchling

A big thank you also goes to the zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Phoenix Zoo who have supported some of the critical running costs of the TCC in 2014, and who are also supporting the development of a warm room to maintain hatchlings of 2014 for overwintering through the cold months of northern Vietnam. This includes Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii) and Bourret’s Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) hatchlings and over 30 Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata).

Date: 30th December 2014
Press release by: Do Thanh Hao – TCC
& Timothy McCormack – ATP

Download this press release in English here

Download this press release in Vietnamese here


Thank you

We would like to thank all those who have supported developments at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) through 2014, the Intrepid Foundation for TCC activities, Rotterdam Zoo for the incubator chiller, solar power, secures cages for Mauremys annamensis and juveniles, Bristol Zoo for the new Cuora mouhotii cage, Herbert Becker and Munster Zoo for supporting the Mauremys annamensis cage, the Zoological Society of London for facility running costs and development of a new terrestrial hatchling warm room and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for the new security systems and incubator chiller.

rotterdam zoo
Munster zoo


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To see more on the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) and the work they are doing please visit their website:

For further information, please contact:
Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) - Cuc Phuong National Park
Nho Quan Dist., Ninh Binh Prov., Vietnam
Tel: +84 (0) 30384 8090

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) - Indo-Myanmar Conservation
Office: Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu road, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Tel: +84 (0) 24 7302 8389


MBZ ATP would like to thanks the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for supporting this website
Asian Turtle Program - Indo-Myanmar Conservation
Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Phone:+84 (0) 24 7302 8389

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