Senin, 31 Agustus 2009


Thailand - our primary goal was to visit the Thai Fisheries-run facility for Batagur and Callagur at Satun, in southern Thailand. Both species are most likely functionally extinct in Thailand, and captive populations of both were collected from a nearby river 25 – 30 years ago. The Batagur have bred successfully over the years - with thousands on hand - but still far below their capacity. Callagur have reproduced in much lower numbers. Egg incubation is a problem and is not controlled to reliably produce both sexes; good incubators are urgently needed. We also identified a number of husbandry issues – some likely related to diet, others to facility design -that will require veterinary visits and facility modifications to resolve. We hope to begin to mobilize support to this facility as soon as the potential to use this facility to restore wild populations of both species appears to be good. Looking down the road, this could be an excellent student project.
We also visited the Inland Fisheries Station at Kanchanaburi where the emphasis is on breeding softshell turtles, notably Chitra chitra. A new building has been erected since our last visit, providing improved rearing conditions to a wide range of species including two Myanmar endemics, Nilssonia formosa and Chitra vandijki. Certainly one of the high points of our trip was formalizing our relationship with Mr.Uthen Youngprapakorn, to officially represent TSA in dealings with the government and their Fisheries-run facilities. Uthen owns the world’s largest croc farm near Bangkok and manages the largest and most successful breeding group of false gharials (Tomistoma) in the world (800 hatched to date).

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