Tortoises and turtles have been on our planet for almost 250 million years. They have witnessed the rise and fall of dinosaurs, they have seen various kinds of predators and they have survived the coming of birds and mammals and also several changes of climate. But nowadays, they are being wiped from the Earth. More than 70% of turtle species, animals of extraordinary ecological, scientific and cultural importance, have found themselves on the Red List of Threatened Species. According to the documents of IUCN and other world conservationist organizations, the significant factors of the turtle crisis include the devastation of their living environment and their growing, disproportionate and unsustainable exploitation in favour of extending turtle business (turtle meat, eggs and other derivatives) on the East Asian markets. Indonesia is a significant world area for conservation of the biodiversity and unique ecoregions. The Indonesian natural assets include an extremely diversified and until recently rich turtle fauna.
Educational and rescue centre on Nusa Penida Island
The cruel deal of tortoises and turtles appealed also to the Union of Czech and Slovak Zoos. The Union, cooperating with the Brno Zoo and an Indonesian non-profit organization, created a conservationist project. The project is aimed to build an educational centre for Indonesian natives as well as foreign tourists and visitors on the Nusa Penida Island situated near the Bali Island. The Centre Kura Kura (Indonesian „Save the turtle!“) will warn about the serious problems related to the protection of one of the most endangered groups of Indonesian fauna – turtles and tortoises. The building of the centre will be followed by building of a rescue station for confiscated turtles from illegal business. The Kura Kura centre will be gradually transformed into an important centre of conservationist activities integration in favour of endangered turtles including their living environment and the Indonesian natural assets in general. Zoological gardens play an important role and are highly responsible for the conservation of the turtle gene pool. The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria expressed this responsibility in September 2004 by a special campaign called „Shellshock“. During the following year, European zoos collected more than 250 000 euro for international turtle rescue projects.
Turtles and tortoises are being wiped from the face of the planet.
Can we help them? Yes!
Project Kura Kura – Turtles in danger
Account number: 267825941/0300
more info: http://www.kura-kura.org/