Recent Acquisition of Northern Spider Tortoises

On the captive management side of things, the TSA is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of 9.12 Northern spider tortoises (Pyxis a. brygooi) from a private breeder.  This nearly doubled the PMP managed population of brygooi in the U.S. and the specimens were placed with three institutions (Cleveland Metroparks, San Diego and Knoxville Zoos) and one private facility (Matt Frankel), each of which helped to cover the cost of acquisition. Recent field surveys by Ryan Walker have documented dramatic declines of brygooi across their range, primarily due to agricultural conversion and hunting for food, such that this subspecies is now considered the most endangered of Madagascar‚Äôs dwarf tortoises.  These new specimens will go to further strengthen our managed population and will contribute to the fine work already being done at our other facilities working on breeding this subspecies, namely Dan Pearson, Behler Chelonian Center, James Badman, and the St. Louis Zoo.

- Rick Hudson and Michael Ogle