Terrapin Eggs Offer Hope for 20 Remaining Members of the Species


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hunted for their eggs and value on the traditional medicine market, Batagur baska, the mangrove terrapin has been driven as close to extinction as can be imagined. Only 20 known individuals remain—including those in captivity.

For decades, zoologists and conservationists have struggled to rebuild the population but the turtles' finicky breeding requirements have stopped the best efforts—Until now.In may, experts at the Schoenbrunn zoo in Vienna, Austria, managed to create "exactly the perfect conditions for the females to lay eggs."

WATCH VIDEO: Operation Wild: Sick Turtle

Peter Praschag, a turtle specialist contracted by the zoo to facilitate the breeding, explained:

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

This tiny clutch of new eggs, may buy critical time in the race to save the species.

Read more about endangered turtles:
Sea Turtle Finds Lost Camera, Films Itself Swimming (Video)
2,000 Endangered Sea Turtles Killed or Injured by Frigid Waters in Florida (Photos)
Oil Spill Causes Thousands of Turtle Eggs Not to Hatch... Not in the Gulf of Mexico

Tags: Endangered Species | Turtles

Best of TreeHugger 2014

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK