Think about tomorrow - before it's too late
Discover TURTLE ISLAND
- The world's largest turtle conservation breeding station with the widest variety of species
- A category A non-profit zoo
- A scientific institute & research facility
- An animal shelter & rescue station
- All managed and founded by Dr Peter Praschag
TURTLE ISLAND - our mission
Our planet has experienced multiple ice ages. It has seen an apocalyptic meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. But more species are dying out now than ever before as we humans cause a catastrophe of unimaginable magnitude.
We want to make a contribution to preserving life on Planet Earth and are working to prevent the extinction of endangered turtle species.
We have over 240 species in our conservation stations, with 11 among the top 25 most endangered species in the world and 35 among the top 50. Over time, we aim to create a modern, unique zoo project that merges our 4 locations and brings together 2500 animals.
What is TURTLE ISLAND?
- A conservation breeding station for endangered turtle species
- A recognised scientific institution (AT033) and research facility focusing on the taxonomy, biology and ecology of turtles.
- An official animal shelter for terrapins and tortoises.
- Operator and initiator of national and international reintroduction projects together with international zoos and research stations.
- A facility running school education campaigns on species and animals
TURTLE ISLAND breeds turtle species that are endangered worldwide. Over the last 40 years, the Praschag family has built up the world's largest and most diverse turtle station, a project only possible thanks to endless dedication and a wealth of knowledge as well as the support of private donors and volunteers. For our work to continue we need greater public awareness of conservation and biodiversity to secure financial support from politics, business and society.
Turtles are highly popular animals, making our work a fantastic way to draw attention to the importance of animal conservation in general.
Where we are now
The Living Planet Index monitors population trends of 3,000 species and shows an average decline in animal populations of 50%. Aquatic and wet biotope inhabitants are particularly affected, having suffered a loss of 76% within just 40 years. This alarming trend will cost the world billions in economic losses and could even exceed the costs of climate change. This makes the preservation of biological diversity a mandatory global political task.
In the long term, we at TURTLE ISLAND aim to reintroduce specimens back into the wild in their countries of origin. However, this requires on-site educational campaigns and long-term financial support for the breeding station in Graz, Austria.
TURTLE ISLAND in numbers
- Founded in 2013 by Dr Peter Praschag, internationally renowned scientist and zoologist
- 240 species of turtles at 4 locations in Styria, Austria
- 2500 turtles in total
- 37 of the 50 most endangered turtle species
- The only location with 17 of the 19 species of the two most endangered genera (Batagur & Cuora)
- 800 specimens of the two most endangered genera
- Successful reproduction of more than 170 species
- 6 instances of turtle species reproducing in captivity for the first time
- Reproduction of 35 of the top 50 endangered species
- Reproduction of 14 of the critical 19 species, including 3 species that are extinct in the wild
Work at TURTLE ISLAND:
Knowledge and research play a fundamental role in nature conservation. By studying turtles in the wild and in captivity over decades, we can provide important insights into their biology and ecology, which can also be applied in their countries of origin.
Species protection through conservation breeding:
Our projects combine on-site and off-site protection measures for high-risk species, such as habitat protection, habitat research and reintroduction projects. It is important to set up several breeding groups outside of the countries of origin to minimise the risk of threats such as political unrest or disease.
In addition to our work with turtles, we see it as our task to raise awareness - especially among children and young people - of the need to protect global fauna and local wildlife.
The illegal animal trade is the third largest illegal business in the world, after drug and arms trafficking. More effective airport controls and regulations for animal husbandry mean that an increasing number of wild animals are being confiscated. There is an acute shortage of rescue centres within Europe, and in most cases confiscated wild animals are distributed to non-professional pet-oriented animal shelters or taken to zoos. As there is no facility for these animals in Austria, we also open our doors to confiscated wild animals.
“All over the world, species are on the brink of extinction. Here in Graz, a team of scientists, animal keepers and dedicated volunteers is enabling us to breed these rare species. Without Turtle Island, many wonderful turtle species would already have become extinct."
- Peter Praschag
Donating to TURTLE ISLAND
You can donate using the following details:
IBAN: AT24 1200 0100 0741 0201 ∙ BIC: BKAUATWW
- Animal shelter number: 310147063
- Puntigamerstrasse 7, 8041 Graz, Austria
Donations from companies and private individuals subject to tax in Austria (§ 4a para. 2 Z. 3 EstG, register: NT3539) or America (tax-exempt 501(c) (3); Tax ID number: 83-1706767) are tax-deductible.