theTurtleRoom and Garden State Tortoise, LLC release the Western Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni hermanni) North American Regional Studbook, 2nd Edition.
We are proud to announce the release of the 2nd edition of the Western Hermann’s Tortoise North American Regional Studbook. Updated with new, legal imports and tortoises hatched this year at Garden State Tortoise, the studbook now includes tortoises originating from 9 localities in their native range. From this year forward, the new edition can be expected in early June each year. Next year, we hope to add more content into the studbook.
Last year, we began the process of developing a studbook for Testudo hermanni hermanni, the Western Hermann’s Tortoise, after Chris Leone of Garden State Tortoise, LLC approached us about the idea of developing a studbook for this species, one of his passions. We first checked the database to make sure there was not a studbook in existence or in development. I also conferred with an AZA member institution to determine the next step. Ultimately, we chose to create this studbook ourselves. The first edition was released in October, 2013.
A privately run studbook was necessary, as this species is not of high importance for the AZA’s (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) studbook effort. Their position is more than understandable. Due to the lack of pure specimens of the western subspecies (Testudo hermanni hermanni) available in the United States and the abundance of the eastern subspecies (T. h. hermanni) and intergrades between the two, it is sensible and responsible on their part to focus their resources elsewhere. We have no issue with this decision by the AZA. The staff of theTurtleRoom are already involved with 5 other AZA studbooks, and we fully support their efforts.
An Excerpt from the Studbook Introduction
by Chris Leone, Garden State Tortoise, LLC.
The purpose behind the creation of the Western Hermann’s Tortoise North American Regional Studbook is education, awareness and protection. We must educate ourselves on the proper identification of the world’s turtle and tortoise species and subspecies. Their specific needs and requirements can only truly be met once we gain the knowledge and understanding regarding them. We need to beware of the potential threats these creatures face globally both in captivity and in the wild in order to successfully protect their future and their fate. The safeguarding of Testudo hermanni hermanni (Western Hermann’s Tortoise) by means of a studbook allows us to closely monitor the existing specimens in our country, under our care to ensure their purity and proper placement (of offspring) within the community. In past decades the unsuitable keeping of these tortoises through mismanagement and misunderstanding has left us with very few notably pure specimens with real historic evidence. The founder stock listed in this studbook are accountable for the legitimate forthcoming of their kind in American collections today. Their wellbeing is of boundless importance.