ACI is expanding and the construction phase of its breeding facility for threatened and endangered African freshwater turtles and tortoises has now begun !
We have started building ponds for our Pelusios adansonii headstart program. Each pond is 5 meters long (16.4 ft), 2 meters wide (6.5 ft), 50 cm (20 in) deep, and features a dry basking/nesting area. The breeding facility will also serve as a display facility, but our main goal remains the captive breeding of African tortoises and terrapins, with a priority focus on the most endangered species. With these ponds, we hope to release a minimum of 100 juvenile Adanson’s mud turtles per year at Tocc Tocc, a protected reserve, in order to counterbalance the high rate of bycatch for this species as well as to increase numbers in the Senegal wild population.
The breeding center will also initiate re-introduction programs in collaboration with colleagues working with other turtle species in their native ranges, as well as having a strong outreach mission.
Our next step is to start the construction of enclosures for our Sulcatas, Kinixys and finally open this breeding facility to the public in June this year. Stay tuned!