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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 202525536

Ensuring Continued Operations of the Hicatee Conservation Research Center for the Critically Endangered Central American River Turtle, Dermatemys mawii

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 202525536) - Central American River Turtle - Awarded $20,000 on March 01, 2021

The Hicatee Conservation and Research Center (HCRC) is located at the BFREE Field Station and private reserve in southern Belize. The HCRC currently maintains a captive population of D. mawii since 2014—making it the key center for captive reproduction and reintroduction activity in Belize. The HCRC presently has 45 breeding adults and ~450 juvenile turtles spanning six year-classes. Our intention is to continue to develop and implement best management practices for the captive husbandry of D. mawii, while simultaneously beginning reintroductions at strategic locations. We will continue to investigate several lines of inquiry under the themes of 1) general care and husbandry, 2) reproductive biology, and 3) ensuring optimal health for rewilded turtles. Based on the growing numbers of potentially releasable captive-raised turtles, we plan to 4) continue to determine release protocols, and 5) explore potential appropriate release sites throughout Belize.

Project document