Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Florida
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Florida Project

Nutritional ecology and husbandry of Dermatemys mawii

January 2014 - August 2020


Participating Agencies

  • USGS

Dermatemys mawii is a critically endangered fresh-water turtle endemic to Central America. Captive breeding programs for wild release have been identified as an important component of conservation efforts for D. mawii, but relatively little is known about their biology and ecology. Research is needed that will inform captive and wild management. Only a few scientific studies have been conducted that focus on the unique biology and ecology of D. mawii. This project is collaborating with the Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education and the Turtle Survival Alliance. Knowledge gained from this study will address the long-term conservation goals by informing husbandry practices, captive breeding protocols, and wild management of D. mawii. In broader terms, this study will contribute to our understanding of life-history strategies of herbivorous reptiles.