EN / DE
© Turtle Island 2022

Welcome to turtle island
An Ark for endangered turtles

Help us protect turtles around the world and donate today.

Donations to Turtle Island are tax deductible in the USA and Austria.

Donate Today and help us
to reach our goal of preserving
turtle life on our planet

250 turtles have been rehomed thanks to donations
500 turtles have hatched due to donations

What is Turtle Island?

Turtle Island, managed by the internationally renowned scientist and zoologist Dr. Peter Praschag, breeds and focuses on conservation of endangered turtles worldwide.

With over 240 taxa and more than 2500 turtles housed at four locations across Styria, Austria (Graz, Deutschlandsberg), two of which are Category A Zoos, Turtle Island is an Ark for endangered species.

Our daily work is characterized by scientific research, nature conservation and animal welfare. We focus on educating the public on the importance of turtle biodiversity and its role in preserving of life on our planet.

In a nutshell:

Together with our global network of partners, supporters, animal keepers and volunteers we contribute to the protection of the most threatened group of vertebrates on our planet – turtles.

The beauty queen

Malaclemys terrapin

This turtle is famous for its exceptional beauty. Its shell resembles the shapes of diamonds, which also gives it the iconic name – Diamondback terrapin. But don’t forget, beauty also comes from the inside!

The beauty queen
diamond patterned shell
Scientific name
Malaclemys terrapin
Origin
North America
Status
Vulnerable

The Elusive

Vijayachelys silvatica

They love to spend their time in nature, especially surrounded by the calming sounds of the woods. No matter what weather it is, they always adjust well and particularly enjoy the rain. Always remember: There is no bad weather, just wrong clothing!

The Elusive
loves humidity
Scientific name
Vijayachelys silvatica
Origin
Southwest India
Status
Endangered

The foodie

Chitra indica

As one of the largest turtles, we affectionately call it "The Foodie." It doesn't have to move much at all to eat. Its snapping strike is so fast that you can only see it if you use a high-speed camera that can take 3000 pictures per second. With this eating method, The Foodie catches a lot of fish, its favorite food.

The foodie
Highspeed snapper
Scientific name
Chitra indica
Origin
South Asia
Status
Endangered

The influencer

Testudo spp.

Captions, hashtags and the perfect lighting are all these species think about. And all they have to, as they are the most beloved and photogenic turtles of them all. Usually kept as pets, they know how to make people love them and especially feed them all of the good stuff.

The influencer
popular pet species
Scientific name
Testudo spp.
Origin
South Europe, Caucasus, North Africa
Status
Vulnerable

The joker

Chelodina mccordi

Thanks to its particularly round face, it looks like it has a permanent grin. In addition to always having a smile on its face it has an especially long neck that resembles a snake. That is where it gets its name from.

The joker
smiling face
Scientific name
Chelodina mccordi
Origin
Rote Island, Indonesia
Status
Critically Endangered

The orderly one

Cycloderma aubryi

Thanks to its fascinating nose that resembles a vacuum cleaner, "The Orderly One" has an equally neat name. Starting off as very colourful reddish babies, they turn brown over time. "The Orderly One" is not just precise but also very smart and knows exactly what it wants.

The orderly one
vacuum cleaner nose
Scientific name
Cycloderma aubryi
Origin
Central Africa
Status
Vulnerable

The original

Macrochelys temminckii

This extraordinary species lived long before the dinosaurs, which can be detected through its mighty dragon-like appearance. Its tongue, which looks quite similar to a worm, comes in handy while hunting prey.

The original
older than dinosaurs
Scientific name
Macrochelys temminckii
Origin
Vietnam
Status
Vulnerable

The party animal

Platysternon megacephalum

This turtle is a "night owl" and likes to stay up late.

Apart from that they are adventurers and love climbing. This one is a meat eater, to keep up the energy for its awesome activities. So, where is the next party?

The party animal
nocturnal animal
Scientific name
Platysternon megacephalum
Origin
Southeast Asia
Status
Critically Endangered

The Austrian

Emys orbicularis

It is known as the European pond turtle and prefers to live in wetlands surrounded by natural, forrested landscape. It spends most of the day in the water, looking for food. It is very adaptive and opportunistic but quite shy and likes to hide.

This is the only turtle species that is native to Austria.

The Austrian
Loves swamps
Scientific name
Emys orbicularis
Origin
Eurasia, North Africa
Status
Near Threatened

The introvert

Cuora zhoui

This turtle is very reserved and shy at first, observing the environment with its unique eyes that look like the eyes of a toad. It likes to observe and only after a while it gets alerted and appears interested in you.

The introvert
Toad eyes
Scientific name
Cuora zhoui
Origin
?
Status
Critically Endangered

The athlete

Batagur baska

This species is an excellent swimmer, and its endurance is remarkable. The word “quit” doesn’t exist in its vocabulary. It needs to exercise at all times to practice for the next duathlon – the goal is keeping fit and the price to never quit!

The athlete
Always on the move
Scientific name
Batagur baska
Origin
South Asia
Status
Critically Endangered

Spiritual one

Nilssonia nigricans

It is wise, it is peaceful, and it loves to chill close to the temple, as this is where it reflects on the truth of existence. This turtle is very adaptive, kind and smart.

Spiritual one
chills around the temple
Scientific name
Nilssonia nigricans
Origin
South Asia
Status
Critically Endangered
the-nature-lover
62% of turtle species have
either already become extinct or
are on the brink of extinction.
10 turtle subspecies have
gone extinct in recent years.
52% OVERALL DECREASE IN WILDLIFE POPULATIONS
Loss of biodiversity --
Decrease in Wild populations
between 1970 and 2010
76% decrease in freshwater populations
39% decrease in terrestrial populations
39% decrease in marine populations

Our philosophy

"We all live on a "Turtle Island". Kalmyks and Mongols tell of a turtle that carries the world, and Hindus know that their god Vishnu in his second incarnation became Kurma, a turtle that swims in the Sea of Milk and carries the Far on its back.

In New Guinea, the story is told that this island owes its existence to an industrious turtle that dived into the depths of the primordial sea, all the way down, and brought up rocks, sand and whatever else was needed to build an island - until the island itself rose up. In a similar way, the continent we now call North America was created.

So say the Ojibway and Anishabe, the Iroquois, Haudenosaunee, Apache and Cherokee, the Wyandotte (the people of the island) as well as the Wampanoog, the Lenape, the Maidu and the Patwin of California and many other North American tribes, who, therefore, like to call their home "Turtle Island".

Everything that lives, everything that walks on feet, fins or wings, and everything that breathes, whether through lungs or gills, tracheas or skin, we all live on a turtle island.

Life on the island defines it, by what lives on the island we know where we come from and where we go, what we see and what we talk about, and every walk is a walk over the green backs of turtles."

(Marcel Robischon from "On the Silencing of the World").

The solution

Our mission

At Turtle Island, we prevent the extinction of endangered turtle taxa. Out of the 240 taxa in our conservation centers, 11 are among the top 25 most endangered species worldwide, and 27 are within the top 50.

Our goals include protection, preservation and reintroduction of endangered turtles everywhere. We have created a unique sanctuary, drawing attention to fascinating turtle diversity and the threats that they face.

For more information about Turtle Island...

Together we can preserve endangered
species for future generations
and ensure their continued survival.

Different ways of
supporting the turtles.

Organizations
that support us

Nature and Life Foundation
Zoo Praha
Prague Zoo
European Association of zoos and aquaria
TSA
Tiergarten Schönbrunn
Allwetterzoo Münster
Allwetterzoo Münster
Reptilienauffangstation

«To carry on this great work, we need your help.»

MAG. DR. PETER. PRASCHAG
Founder of Turtle Island

Turtle
Turtle Island
A project to conserve
the most threatened
vertebrate animals
on our planet
office@turtle-island.at
Turtle Island Newsletter
© Turtle Island 2022