Captive Reproduction of Arakan Forest Turtles

by Steve Platt 

depressa Atlanta good

On 21 November, we were elated to learn that a female Arakan Forest Turtle (Heosemys depressa), one of 14 adults held in an assurance colony at Gwa (Headquarters of the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary), had deposited a clutch of five eggs only days before. This is the second successful nesting by a female H. depressa in the assurance colony since it was established in 2011, and one of just a handful of captive-breeding events worldwide.

Unlike the previous nesting, this one was observed by keepers who reported the female excavated a deep hole in the soil substrate and deposited her eggs over a period of several hours. Because the assurance colony is located within the native range of H. depressa, the clutch is being incubated in-situ and if all goes well, we expect hatchlings to emerge at the onset of the wet season in May or June 2015.