Hong Kong, China
Cuora trifasciata, the three-striped box turtles, also known as the “golden coin turtle” in China, This turtle has a long history in Chinese folklore and traditional Chinese medicine, where it is valued as one of the most powerful animals in traditional Chinese medicine, and also reputedly one of the best tasting turtle species, it has quite the status. In recent years, C. trifasciata has become a financial investment and status symbol in China and is the most sought-after turtle species in China. Its Chinese name translates as “Golden Coin Turtle” because of its value. It is being farmed by the thousands in China, but the demand for wild specimens is still high.The last three decades of intense collecting and massive habitat destruction and degradation have brought it to the brink of extinction in the wild. Estimates are as low as 500 specimens remaining throughout the range. Fewer than twenty specimens per year are still reported by collectors. Hong Kong was long considered a potential stronghold, although in the past decade, illegal trapping has led to an almost complete population collapse in the region.
We have teamed up with Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden, situated in Hong Kong and dedicated to the conservation of local wildlife.
Thanks to the local efforts to eradicated traps by the AFCD and Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden, release projects are currently evaluated for the species. Due to its high value and limited breeding success, this is planned cautiously. We supply captive offspring from our assurance group in our facility to Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden, where they are prepared for their hopeful future in the wild soon.
We frequently return captive bred offspring, hatched in our facility, to Hong Kong, where they serve for release projects in the not to distant future! We are the first and only Conservation facility on this planet to frequently return genetically pure bred Cuora specimens, for no-profit, back to their country of origin. These specimens increase the local captive assurance genepool and provide the basis for future release projects, which are scheduled to happen soon.