Jan 01, 2013 10:35AM
The Turtle Survival Alliance Foundation (TSA) is opening a facility to house some of the world’s most endangered freshwater turtles and tortoises near Charleston, South Carolina. The 50-acre Turtle Survival Center will maintain living groups, or assurance colonies, of many species facing an uncertain future in the wild.
The center will house 20 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises ranked “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Nine are also on the Turtle Conservation Coalition list of the world’s most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.
According to TSA President Rick Hudson, “No group of animals is under greater threat or faces a higher risk of extinction than freshwater turtles and tortoises.” The center will focus on species that have little chance of being recovered in nature because of habitat loss and intensive hunting pressures.
Some species have undergone such dramatic declines that without intervention, their extinction is imminent. It’s hoped that offspring born at the center will eventually repopulate their ancestral habitats.
Contribute to the TSA Turtle Survival Center capital campaign to help at TurtleSurvival.org.