Professor Thomas Hildebrandt and Dr. Susanne Holtze recently visited Turtle Island to continue their research on the cryo-preservation of turtle sperm. To date, protocols for properly freezing turtle sperm so that it remains viable after thawing have not been accomplished.
They are trying ‘every trick in the book’ as the ability to artificially store sperm is a powerful tool in the conservation of critically endangered species that are in need of captive breeding programs. We have learned a great deal from their visits. For instance, it appears that the ornate penis structures of turtles and morphology of turtle sperm are unique in animal kingdom.
The preliminary result from the research so far look very promising and can be seen as a potential key break through. We are hopeful that very soon we will find the correct protocols and that we can start a sperm bank for all of the rarest turtles in the world.