Record year for Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) hatchlings at the Turtle Conservation Centre

One of seven Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) hatchlings that hatched together with six other individuals of the same species at the TCC in the first week of September

The first week of September has been an exciting one at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam, with the first Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) hatchlings emerging. The Keeled Box Turtle is native to the national park and 2012 has been a bumper year for nesting with 22 eggs laid in June and July in outdoor enclosures at the centre. Staff at the centre moved all the eggs into a new incubation chiller maintaining them at 27 o C, keeping their fingers crossed for the last few months. Patience has been rewarded with 7 hatchlings joining the TCC’s Cuora mouhotii population so far with over a dozen eggs still looking great.

In previous years incubation at the TCC has proved challenging for many species of the Cuora genus. Inhabiting cool forest environments ideally they have incubation temperatures from 25 – 28°C, with the incubation room and outdoor enclosures having often reached temperatures well over 30°C in Cuc Phuong in the summer frequent power cuts have also made successful incubation difficult.

As a native species to Cuc Phuong and a priority for conservation breeding at the TCC and over 30 adult and juvenile Cuora mouhotii the hope is that future breeding will provide a viable assurance population for this charismatic yet endangered species.

Each year the TCC is dependent on the generous donations and grants from turtle enthusiasts and NGO’s, please help us continue building on our success as a Southeast Asian turtle assurance centre. Donations can be made through the ATP website or contacting the ATP at:

The TCC would like to thank the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) and the Intrepid Foundation for supporting the TCC and its conservation projects in 2012. The TCC is very grateful to Tim McCormack (Asian Turtle Program) for donating the egg incubator/chiller in which the Cuora mouhotii eggs were successfully incubated and hatched in.

Press release by Sarah Wahl

5th September 2012

The group of seven Cuora mouhotii hatchlings will join a group of other successfully bred individuals from previous years.

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