TURTLE ISLAND.

Project to preserve the most endangered vertebrates on our planet.

Email:  office@turtle-island.at

Phone: +43 680 211 50 82

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Scientific Research.

‘Knowledge about biodiversity and the threat levels the various species face are the foundation for any conservation and protection’.

We especially need knowledge about the 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.

Research focus.

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

  • Linking together 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.

Current research projects..

  • Genetic studies with micro satellites to create a studbook with breeding guidelines for the Northern River Terrapin.

  • Research of different incubation methods for difficult to breed species, genetic (GSD) and environmental (ESD) sex determination and the phenomenon of the diapause.

  • Researching the macrocephaly phenomenon in certain turtle species. We want to use stable isotopes to research whether food or genetic disposition determine whether animals will develop larger or smaller heads.​

Already too late? Massive trade in Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) might have wiped out its phylogeographic differentiation

Vamberger, M., Spitzweg, C., de Silva, A., Masroor, R., Praschag, P., Fritz U.

10.1163/15685381-20191215

2019

Millennium-old farm breeding of Chinese softshell turtles (Pelodiscus spp.) results in massive erosion of biodiversity.

S. Gong, M. Vamberger, M. Auer, P. Praschag, U. Fritz

105: 34

The Science of Nature.

2018

Conservation genetic of the northern river terrapin (Batagur baska) breeding project using a microsatellite marker system.

C. Spitzweg, P. Praschag, S. DiRuzzo & U. Fritz.

54 (1): 63-70

Salamandra.

2018

Diversity of North American map and sawback turtles.

(Testudines: Emydidae: Graptemys).

Praschag, P., Ihlow F., Flecks M., Vamberger M., Fritz U.

2017: 00: 1-8

Zool Scr.

2017

Sex chromosomes enable molecular sexing in softshell turtles (Trionychidae).

Rovatsos, M., Praschag, P., Fritz, U. and Kratochvil,L.

7: Article nr: 42150 (2017)

Scientific Reports.

2017

Conservation breeding of the Northern river terrapin Batagur baska at the Vienna Zoo, Austria, and in Bangladesh.

A. Weissenbacher, D. Preininger, R. Ghosh, A. G. J. Morshed & P. Praschag.

2015 - 49

International Zoo Yearbook

2015

Batagur affinis (Cantor 1847) – Southern River Terrapin, Tuntong.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

Moll, E.O., Platt, S.G., Chan, E.H., Horne, B.D., Platt, K., Praschag, P., Chen, P.N., and van Dijk, P.P.

5 (8): 090.1–17

Chelonian Research Monographs.

2015

Vijayachelys silvatica (Henderson 1912) – Cochin Forest Cane Turtle.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

Deepak, V., Praschag, P., and Vasudevan, K.

No. 5, pp. 078.1–7

Chelonian Research Monographs.

2014

Phylogeography of the Asian softshell turtle Amyda cartilaginea (Boddaert, 1770): evidence for a species complex.

Fritz, U., Gemel, R., Kehlmeier, Ch., Vamberger, M. and Praschag, P.

64 (2): 229-243

Vertebrate Zoology.

2014

Lissemys punctata (Bonnaterre 1789) – Indian Flapshell Turtle.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

Bhupathy, S., Webb, R.G, and Praschag, P.

No. 5, pp. 076.1–12

Chelonian Research Monographs.

2014

Endoscopic Imaging of Gonads, Sex Ratio, and Temperature Dependent Sex Determination in Juvenile Captive Bred Radiated Tortoises Astrochelys radiata.

In Castellano C. M., Randriamahazo H., Lewis R. E., Mittermeier R. A., Hudson R., Rhodin A. G. J. (Eds.), Turtles on the Brink in Madagascar. (Lunenburg, Massachusetts: Chelonian Research Foundation)

Kuchling G., Goode E., Praschag P.

No. 6,pp. 113-118

Chelonian Research Monographs.

2013

Molecular phylogeny of the softshell turtle genus Nilssonia revisited, with first records of N. formosa for China and wild-living N. nigricans for Bangladesh.

Liebing N., Praschag P., Gosh R., Vasudevan K., Rashid SMA, Rao D-Q, Stuckas H & U. Fritz

62: 261-272

Vertebrate Zoology.

2012

Northern genetic richness and southern purity, but just one species in the Chelonoidis chilensis complex.

Fritz, U., Alcalde, L., Vargas-Ramírez, M., Goode,. E. V., Fabius-Turoblin, D. U. and Praschag, P.

41: 220–232

Zoologica Scripta.

2012

Endoscopic Imaging of Gonads, Sex Ratio and Temperature Dependent Sex Determination in Captive Bred Juvenile Burmese Star Tortoises Geochelone platynota.

Kuchling, G., E. Goode & P. Praschag

2 (4): 240–244

Asian Herpetological Research.

2011

Mitochondrial DNA sequences suggest a revised taxonomy of Asian flapshell turtles (Lissemys Smith, 1931) and the validity of previously unrecognized taxa.

(Testudines: Trionychidae).

Praschag, P., Stuckas, H., Päckert, M., Maran, J. & U. Fritz

61: 147-160

Vertebrate Zoology

2011

Pangshura sylhetensis Jerdon 1870 – Assam roofed turtle.

In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group.

Das, I., Sengupta, S., and Praschag, P.

No. 5, pp. 046.1–046.6

Chelonian Research Monographs.

2010

An outbreak of intranuclear coccidiosis in Pyxis spp. tortoises.

In: Proceedings, 8th Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles

Praschag, P., Gibbons, P., Boyer, T., Wellehan, J., Garner, M.

P. 32-33

8th Annual Symposium - Orlando, FL, USA

2010

Batagur baska (Gray, 1830) – Northern River Terrapin. Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises.

A compilation project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. A.G.J. Rhodin, P.C.H. Pritchard, P.P. van Dijk, R. A. Saumure, K. A. Buhlmann & J.B. Iverson, eds.

Moll, E.O., Platt, K., Platt, S. G., Praschag P., & P.P. van Dijk

5: 10 pp.

Chelonian Research Monographs.

2009

A new subspecies of Batagur affinis (Cantor, 1847), one of the world’s most critically endangered chelonians.

(Testudines: Geoemydidae).

Praschag, P., R. Holloway, A. Georges, M. Päckert, A. K. Hundsdörfer & U. Fritz

2233: 57-68

Zootaxa.

2009

Further specimens and phylogenetic position of the recently described leaf turtle species Cyclemys gemeli.

(Testudines: Geoemydidae).

Praschag, P., Hundsdörfer, A.K. & U. Fritz

2008: 29-37

Zootaxa.

2009

Naming one of the world’s rarest chelonians, the southern Batagur.

Praschag, P., Sommer, R. S., McCarthy, C., Gemel, R. & U. Fritz

1758: 61-68

Zootaxa.

2008

Phylogeny and taxonomy of endangered South and South-east Asian freshwater turtles elucidated by mtDNA sequence variation.

(Testudines: Geoemydidae: Batagur, Callagur, Hardella, Kachuga, Pangshura).

Praschag, P., Hundsdörfer, A.K. & U. Fritz

36: 429–442

Zoologica Scripta

2007

Genetic evidence for wild-living Aspideretes nigricans and a molecular phylogeny of South Asian softshell turtles.

(Reptilia: Trionychidae: Aspideretes, Nilssonia).

Praschag, P., Hundsdörfer, A.K., Reza, A.H.M.A. & U. Fritz

36 (4): 301-310

Zoologica Scripta

2007

Geoemyda silvatica, an enigmatic turtle of the Geoemydidae (Reptilia: Testudines), represents a distinct genus.

Praschag, P., Schmidt, C., Fritzsch, G., Müller, A.., Gemel, R. & U. Fritz

6 (2): 151-162

Organisms Diversity & Evolution.

2006

On the nomenclature and vernacular names of recent Aspideretes species (Reptilia, Testudines, Trionychidae).

Zoologische Abhandlungen.

Gemel, R., Praschag, P.

53 (1): 93-105

Staatliches Museum fur Tierkunde in Dresden.

2003

Identity of the black softshell turtle Aspideretes nigricans (Anderson 1875) with remarks on related species.

Praschag, P. & R. Gemel

23: 87-116

Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden.

2002

Beiträge zur Kenntnis der Assam-Dachschildkröte, Kachuga sylhetensis (Jerdon 1870).

(Reptilia: Testudines: Bataguridae).

Praschag, P. & G. Fachbach

37 (3): 129-148

Salamandra.

2001

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