The world’s first breeding success of the Indian Eyed Turtle (Morenia petersi) just occurred at Turtle Island with four stunningly beautiful hatchlings from two separate clutches! The Indian Eyed Turtle is considered to be one of the most sensitive turtle species in the world. As a pure vegetarian it requires a variety of greens, cannot tolerate drafts or antibiotics and has thin vulnerable scutes.
To be able to offer their favorite food, we are collecting water plants from a warm water spring 200 km away throughout the entire winter! Incubation of the eggs is also tricky. The eggs must be kept cool for the first 2 months (diapause) before they can be transferred into the incubator. Without this cool phase development will not begin. In the last 3 days 4 hatchlings emerged and at least two more are still expected.
Seven years ago the breeding stock was acquired in Bangladesh on a meat market and imported to Austria. In their countries of origin Indian Eyed Turtles are still sold on illegal markets for consumption and are listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List.
Turtles are the most endangered group of vertebrates on earth with more than 60% of all turtle species are threatened with extinction. Breeding successes such as this can help to counteract this threatening development.