Vienna zoo breeds endangered batagur turtle

June 15, 2010

The Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna said on Tuesday it has successfully bred one of the most endangered species of turtle, the Batagur baska, for the first time in captivity.

Two baby Batagur turtles were hatched in the zoo's house at the beginning of May, the zoo said in a statement.

The Batagur baska -- which is listed as "critically endangered" by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature -- is a river terrapin that can grow to up to 60 centimetres (24 inches).

At home in the rivers of Myanmar, Thailand, , Cambodia, Indonesia, India and Bangaldesh, its meat and eggs were long considered a delicacy.

But only 20 of them are now known to be in existence, including six in the Schoenbrunn zoo, the statement said.

With the help of Reiner and Peter Praschag, a father-and-son team of turtle experts from Graz, the zoo was able to create "exactly the perfect conditions for the females to lay eggs," the statement said.

"Without successful breeding programmes in zoos and research stations, the Batagur baska will be extinct within a few years," Peter Praschag said. "Time is running out very quickly for this species of turtle."

Explore further: Smithsonian's National Zoo researchers use electronic eggs to help save threatened species

Related Stories

Endangered gopher frogs bred in zoo

April 8, 2008

Tennessee's Memphis Zoo says it has successful started the first captive breeding program for endangered Mississippi gopher frogs.

Relocation of endangered Chinese turtle may save species

May 21, 2008

There are only four specimens of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle left on Earth—one in the wild and three in captivity. In order to save this species from extinction, conservation partners from the Wildlife Conservation ...

Turtle thought to be extinct spotted in Myanmar

September 7, 2009

(AP) -- The rare Arakan forest turtle, once though to be extinct, has been rediscovered in a remote forest in Myanmar, boosting chances of saving the reptile after hunting almost destroyed its population, researchers said ...

Recommended for you

Gene editing: Research spurs debate over promise vs. ethics

October 9, 2015

The hottest tool in biology has scientists using words like revolutionary as they describe the long-term potential: wiping out certain mosquitoes that carry malaria, treating genetic diseases like sickle-cell, preventing ...

Mapping the protein universe

October 9, 2015

To understand how life works, figure out the proteins first. DNA is the architect of life, but proteins are the workhorses. After proteins are built using DNA blueprints, they are constantly at work breaking down and building ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.