Sunday, October 28, 2012

Russian Tortoise News - Bad Or Good Depending On Your View

I attended the monthly meeting of the Long IslandHerpetological Society today. It was slated as a show n' tell for tortoises and turtles, so I brought in my Hermann's Tortoises (all 5 of them) and my lone Redfoot Tortoise. The club president, who is also a professional reptile breeder/dealer, brought in a couple of Russian Tortoises. Those available here, in the USA, are mainly wild caught in Uzbekistan although they are native to: Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan, Northern and Eastern Iran, North Western China and the former Soviet territory Kazakhstan. They make great pets, as they are pretty small but hardy tortoises and are easy to keep. I have been thinking of getting myself a few of them, probably a sexed trio 1.2 (1 male and 2 females), with a breeding project in mind. They are also relatively inexpensive and can be found at prices under $100 each, some as low as $50 each and even some up for free adoption.

Well, Vin R told us, at the meeting, that the number of legal imports have been falling each year and are way down. This due to import regulations. He believes that the price on them (and most other tortoises and turtles) will probably rise markedly in the next year or two. That could be bad news for some – like exporters and importers,. It also could be good news for others – like captive breeders. I hope to have a trio before things get out of hand with pricing.

I have been actively searching for some of them just recently. I also have been thinking of getting a trio of captive bred Chinese Box Turtles and a captive bred adult male Hermann’s Tortoise (to replace mine that went missing this past spring). All of these species are very desirable to me because they are resilient chelonia (turtles and tortoises), are on the small side, and straightforward and fairly easy to keep and do not require a fortune to maintain but could potentially provide a small return on an investment in them. Hopefully enough to help support my hobby. I have already made an inquiry on a possible sexed trio, 1.2, of Russian Tortoises. I am pretty sure they are captive bred even without the seller mentioning that because their carapaces (upper shells) are in almost pristine condition which is very rare for a wild caught Russian Tortoise. In fact, I made an offer on them. Time, and an answer from the seller, will tell if I am soon to have three new residents in my herp collection.

All the best,
Glenn B

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