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Kinixys Preservation

The Kinixys Cooperative is working to preserve various Kinixys species in captivity. We are producing captive born offspring and growing our assurance colonies. We do not currently see this work as conservation, but rather preservation. Below you will find all currently recognized Kinixys species/subspecies and a short summary of their current status ex-situ in the US. If you hover over the Preservation tab, you can find more information on the projects that TKC is working on!

Kinixys belliana

This species of Kinixys is not represented in US collections.  TKC is not currently working with Bell's Hingebacks, but we would like to work with them in the future if it becomes possible. Current regulations ban K. belliana from coming into the country. Pictured is a wild caught specimen owned by a colleague in Europe. 

Photo Credit: John Zoran

Kinixys erosa

Kinixys erosa is the main focus of TKC ex-situ. This beautiful species has proven to be tricky to establish as wild caught specimens, but they are extremely rewarding as they settle in. As of June 2020, TKC has hatched five K. erosa, and we have plenty more fertile eggs incubating this year! We have to thank everyone who has sent both WC and CB specimens to add to our project. Dalton State University is contributing many offspring to the US population! Pictured is one of our captive born males.

Kinixys homeana

The Home's Hingeback is doing well in captivity in the US. Various keepers are producing them season after season and their numbers are thankfully growing rather than declining. The opposite is true in their native range. These guys need preservation and conservation attention, and we are working on the former.  TKC has hatched more than 10 K. homeana with more eggs cooking. We hope to produce F2 K. homeana in 2021. Pictured is a juvenile hatching here at The Kinixys Cooperative! 

Kinixys lobatsiana

The Lobatse Hinged Tortoise - this is my favorite species of Kinixys. There is not a viable population of K. lobatsiana in captivity in the US or the EU. I have a single male thriving here, but have never had other specimens. I am aware of a single lobatsiana hatched by a gentleman in Europe, but it did not survive long after hatching. My focus on this species is in-situ, though I would love to work with a few confiscated animals (rather than collected) ex-situ. Pictured is a Lobatse male that myself, David and Paul found roaming free in South Africa! 

Photo Credit: David Mifsud

Kinixys natalensis

This is most likely the least known Kinixys species. Dr. Flora Ihlow is working to educate us further on their morphology, ecology, range, etc., but this species is not currently represented in captivity outside of South Africa (to my knowledge).  The Natal Hinged Tortoise is smaller than other species as an adult, and I look forward to seeing some in their native range.  They are known to have a reduced hinge and a tricuspid beak. Pictured is a wild specimen found in South Africa. 

Photo Credit: Dr. Flora Ihlow

Kinixys nogueyi

Kinixys nogueyi need our attention in the US.  This species came into the country many years ago and not that many are still around. TKC has been fortunate to piece together a population of these guys with the help of some generous folks. Thank you to everyone who has contributed specimens to our project!  Once under the umbrella of "Bell's Hingeback", they moved to full species in 2012 (Kindler et al.). A few individuals are producing these well, and TKC hopes to hatch our first one in 2020. We will keep you posted. Pictured is a CB female that was produced by Will Ahrens and raised here. 

Kinixys spekii

The Speke's Hingeback Tortoise is the hardiest species that TKC works with. These guys grow rapidly, do great in captivity and reproduce consistently here. We have now hatched more than 10 specimens as of June 2020. TKC feels most confident in the future of K. spekii in captivity given their hardiness.  We are working with various keepers and institutions to produce a genetically varied CB population for the future. Most of these came to the US from Mozambique, and they are now closed to export. What we have is what we have! Anyone who is interested in working with these should build a captive born colony. Pictured is our largest wild caught adult female. 

Kinixys zombensis zombensis

Kinixys zombenis hold a special place in The Kinixys Cooperative's program. We have worked hard to pull a small group of these guys together over the past few years. Each animal added makes a difference, and the Hingeback community has been great about helping point lone animals in our direction. I have flown to Florida and Arkansas and driven to Kansas to add some of these specimens. On September 16th, 2019 we hatched our first Zombie after 223 days of incubation (pictured above).  We have had one other egg from a different adult pair go full term and not hatch, but we are hoping for more success in years to come.  

Kinixys zombensis domerguei

The forgotten Malagasy tortoise. K. z. domerguei is a subspecies of Kinixys zombensis according to current taxonomy (Kindler et al. 2012). It is believed that at some point, Kinixys were brought to Madagascar from the mainland, over time K. z. domerguei evolved as a genetically distinct subspecies. There are no specimens currently in the US, but a few people keep and breed them in Europe. For now, we will rely on our European colleagues to hold the preservation torch for this unique species. We would love to work with them in the future and contribute to keeping them on the planet.  Pictured is a wild specimen. 

Photo Credit: Dr. Flora Ihlow