First Captive Breeding of the Burmese Roof Turtle

A high point of the January 2009 workshop was the announcement that a juvenile Batagur trivitatta had been pulled from the adult breeding pond at the Yadanabon Zoo just one week earlier. Apparently hatched in 2008 from an undetected nest, the specimen is in the same size class as a cohort of 2008 wild-hatched juveniles from the Upper Chindwin River. Robust and healthy, the hatchling had obviously fared well in the semi-natural adult breeding pond. The keeper reports that several others have been seen up basking in the adult pond, and a full inspection of the sand nest bank revealed a number of old nests with hatched egg shells. This is remarkable news and helps settle our concerns that something was missing in their captive diet or environment.   At the time of this writing 17 new hatchlings from 2009 have recently been recovered.  B. trivittata is one of the most threatened species of turtles on earth and was considered close to extinction when it was ‚Äúrediscovered‚Äù in a temple pond in Mandalay in 2002.  A dedicated captive breeding and management facility was opened in December 2006 which is already at maximum capacity with 163 young trivittata collected on the Chindwin from 2006 ‚Äì 2008.  The B. trivittata Species Recovery Plan workshop in January 2009 recommended that two new facilities be built to allow captive population growth while suitable release sites are found.