Critically Endangered Turtles & Tortoises

13 species

WCS maintains 13 species of critically endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles in its New York-based zoos and aquarium, a number of which are approaching extinction in the wild.

WCS works with critically endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles both in situ and ex situ.

On site, for instance, WCS Myanmar began releasing captive-born Burmese star tortoises into the wild in 2015. The species was ecologically extinct in nature, with only a few hundred remaining anywhere.

In New York, among the species we maintain at our facilities are Asian box turtles from the genus Cuora. Commodities as pets, these box turtles command tens of thousands of dollars. As a result, they're captured nearly whenever they're encountered. WCS breeding groups could help repopulate the wild when that view changes.

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