© Turtle Island 2023


Knowledge about biodiversity and the threats that various species encounter are the foundation for conservation and protection.

We can especially gain knowledge about biodiversity by conducting systematic taxonomic studies based on genetic research. Through this we can learn the best ways to efficiently protect the species.​

We have established a reputation for ourselves in the study of turtle biodiversity through international cooperation. By studying the animals in human care (ex-situ) we are able to gain additional important insights into their biology and ecology that can then be applied in their countries of origin (in-situ). We have several decades of experience in this.

focus points

  • Species conservation, ecology and evolution with a focus on turtles.​

  • Combining protective measures for species conservation in the field and elsewhere.​

  • Studying the genetic composition of populations, the optimal population sizes and the minimum viable population size to guarantee the long-term survival of endangered species.​

  • Studying the phylogeny and taxonomy of various species of tortoise and fresh water turtles.​

  • Analysing the genetics of a species to gain more knowledge about ecology and conservation.​

  • Improving turtle husbandry to conserve the species through captive breeding and species protection.​

  • Research into veterinary medicine to fight reptile and amphibian diseases.

Here you can find a selection of our most important publications.

2022: A new subspecies of Amyda ornata

A new subspecies of the Asiatic softshell turtle Amyda ornata (Gray, 1861) from its northern distribution range (Peter Praschag, Richard Gemel)

2020: Already too late?

Vamberger,M., Spitzweg, C., de Silva, A., Masroor, R., Praschag, P., Fritz U. (2020): Already too late? Massive trade in Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) might have wiped out its phylogeographic differentiation. Amphibia-Reptilia 41

2020: So different, yet so alike

Vamberger, M., Ihlow, F., Asztalos, M., Dawson, J. E., Jasinski, J. S., Praschag, P. and Fritz, U. (2020): So different, yet so alike: North American slider turtles (Trachemys scripta). Vertebrate Zoology, 70

2019: Geomyda and Pangshura

Mazzoleni, S.,  Augstenová, B., Clemente, L., Auer, M., Fritz, U., Praschag, P.,  Protiva T., Velenský, P., Kratochvíl, L. and M. Rovatsos. (2019): Turtles of the genera Geomyda and Pangshura (Testudines: Geoemydidae) lack differentiated sex chromosomes: the end of a 40-year error cascade for Pangshura

2018: Conservation genetics of Batagur baska

Spitzweg, C., Praschag, P., DiRuzzo, S. & U. Fritz (2018). Conservation genetics of the northern river terrapin (Batagur baska) breeding project using a microsatellite marker system Salamandra 54

2018: Millennium-old farm breeding

Gong, S., Vamberger, M., Auer, M., Praschag, P., and Fritz, U. (2018): Millennium-old farm breeding of Chinese softshell turtles (Pelodiscus spp.) results in massive erosion of biodiversity, The Science of Nature 105

Turtle Island
A project to conserve
the most threatened
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© Turtle Island 2023