Global effort to save turtles launched

April 11, 2012 at 4:03 PM   |   Comments

NEW YORK, April 11 (UPI) -- The U.S.-based Wildlife Conservation Society says it's launching a global effort to save some of the world's most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles.

The effort will include breeding programs at its Bronx Zoo and intensive use of its field conservation programs to try to prevent the extinction of at least half of the species listed in a 2011 report by WCS and other groups identifying the 25 most endangered turtles and tortoises on the planet, a WCS release reported Wednesday.

"Only by garnering the vast knowledge and resources from across the whole of WCS can we successfully address the threats to the world's endangered turtles," Elizabeth Bennett, vice president of species conservation for WCS, said.

WCS will work with governments in nations that are centers of turtle diversity, including Cambodia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, officials said.

"WCS is a leading organization in the development of comprehensive strategies that combine field and zoo conservation to save this major taxonomic group from an extinction crisis," WCS President Steve Sanderson said. "We have the expertise in our parks, in our health program, and in our global conservation field program to meet this challenge."

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