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Pearson, D. W. , Ecological husbandry and reproduction of madagascar spider (pyxis arachnoides) and flat-tailed (pyxis planicauda) tortoises. Unpublished paper presented at Turtles on the Brink in Madagascar: Proceedings of Two Workshops on the Status, Conservation, and Biology of Malagasy Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles. 
Added by: Admin (06 Jan 2014 18:25:07 UTC)
Resource type: Conference Paper
DOI: 10.3854/crm.6
BibTeX citation key: anon2013.15504
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Categories: General
Keywords: Fortpflanzung - reproduction, Habitat - habitat, Haltung - husbandry, Madagaskar - Madagascar, Pyxis arachnoides, Pyxis planicauda, Schildkröten - turtles + tortoises, Testudinidae
Creators: Pearson
Collection: Turtles on the Brink in Madagascar: Proceedings of Two Workshops on the Status, Conservation, and Biology of Malagasy Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles
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Testudinidae Tortoises of the genus Pyxis have limited ranges along the southwestern coast of the island of Madagascar. The genus includes P. planicauda and P. arachnoides. Both species are listed on CITES Appendix I and have been assessed as Critically Endangered for the IUCN Red Data List in 2008. Previously, large numbers of both species were exported from Madagascar during 2000 and 2001. A naturally low reproductive rate and an increased rate of habitat loss have generated concern over the status of these species in the wild and in captive collections. Both species are native to tropical dry forests with pronounced wet and dry seasons. An understanding of the climatic and environmental conditions experienced by these species in the wild is important in the establishment of a successful captive breeding program. Replicating the seasonal cycles and maintenance of a dry season aestivation period for adults appears important for successful reproduction in captivity. Pyxis eggs typically undergo an extended embryonic diapause that likely corresponds to the lengthy dry season in their native range. High hatching rates have been achieved in several captive colonies by exposing fertile eggs to cooler and drier conditions. A shift back to warmer and more humid conditions appears to trigger, or reinitiate embryonic development. An embryonic diapause controlled by environmental cues may serve to synchronize and delay hatching until the following wet season. Soil temperature data collected at three sites in Madagascar provide guidance for incubation protocols in captive collections. Current conservation measures include AZA studbooks and Species Survival Plans. Long-term success of existing assurance colonies will require continued cooperation between zoological institutions and private breeders.
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