Breeding efforts for this tiny species of tortoise continue at the Jerusalem Zoo. In addition to the hatchling we reported on last time, we had another tiny tortoise hatch. Sadly, neither survived. Progress in wildlife conservation is often slow with a step forward and two steps back, however we have no choice but to persevere given the critically endangered status of this species.
Prior to receiving permission from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority to release individuals back into the wild, the Zoo will need to research a number of areas: possible release sites and whether a viable habitat exists in Israel in which to release these animals; pathogens within our breeding core to ensure that disease is not brought into an ecosystem upon release; and of-course ongoing genetic research to confirm that the individuals in our breeding core are the same sub-species as those found in the wild within the release area. This is such a rare species that very little is known about genetic differences between small populations spread throughout Egypt and Israel.
We hope to be able to bring you more positive news in our next report.
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