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Lyon Zoo

Recovery Centre for North American Terrapins

Jonas Homburg (author for ZooLex)
Monika Fiby (editor for ZooLex)
Guillaume Douay (editor for Lyon Zoo)
Published 2016-6-23
español

 

UP LOCATION:

Zoo de Lyon, Mairie de Lyon , Zoological Garden , 69205 Lyon cedex 01 , France
Phone: +33-0472-823641
URL: http://www.zoo.lyon.fr


UP KEY WORDS:

invasive, rescue, terrapin


UP ANIMALS:

Family:Species:Common Name:Capacity:
EmydidaeChrysemys pictaPainted turtle
EmydidaeGraptemys sp.Map turtle
EmydidaePseudemys sp.Cooter
EmydidaeTrachemys sp.Slider3000


UP DESCRIPTION:

The Recovery Centre for North American terrapins in the Parc de la Tête d'Or at Lyon Zoo was created as one “nature project” within the zoo’s conservation efforts. It was the redesign of an existing enclosure to house abandoned exotic terrapins that would otherwise be released into nature and is one of several such centres in the country.

Sliders are commonly kept as pets in France and other European countries. Sold as young animals of just a few centimeters in size, they often become too big for their owners to be kept appropriately. This is why many terrapins are released into natural ponds and lakes where they have become a serious threat to native species, in particular to the European pond turtle.

To prevent this practice, Lyon Zoo offers a large pond where anyone can rehome terrapins after filling a certificate of abandonment. Here, the animals can live in appropriate conditions and serve as educational ambassadors to clarify that turtles are not suitable to be kept as pets in small basins. The pond has a capacity for up to 3000 terrapins.
 

UP SIZE:

The enclosure is 10 to 20 meters wide and about 200 meters long. Half of the total size is the water surface of the pond.

Space allocation in square meters:

useindoorsoutdoors     total exhibit    
accessible     total     accessible     total    
animals2,700
visitors
others
total2,700

 

UP COSTS:

The enclosure existed before and was adapted for the terrapins.
 

UP OPENING DATE:

2006
 

UP DESIGN:

Beginning: 2006


UP CONSTRUCTION:

Beginning: 2006


UP LOCAL CONDITIONS:

walter.gif This is a climatic diagram for the closest weather station.

 

UP PLANTS:

Numerous trees and shrubs are planted along the back of the enclosure, including several weeping willows at the waterfront. Grasses and herbs gros along the sandy land areas.

UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO ANIMALS:

The large water basin offers different depths and also shallow water to the turtles. Trunks and large branches are placed in the water as places for sunbathing. The concrete edge of the basin is also used as natural heater. A sandy land area allows the animals to bury their eggs, but this is not the desired aim.

Since the basin is 1m to 1.4m deep with 50cm of mud the turtles can hibernate like they would do in the wild.
 

UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO KEEPERS:

The keepers get into the exhibit through a metal door in the stone wall and cross the basin via a shallow water area with concrete ground.
 

UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO VISITORS:

The area in the park is freely accessible to the public, so not only visitors to the zoo have the opportunity to observe the terrapins. The visitor barrier is a low natural stone wall which allows children to see the animals.
 

UP INTERPRETATION:

Large panels inform the visitors about the turtles’ biology, their natural habitat and their lifestyle. The red-eared-slider’s problematic role in the pet trade is discussed as well as the problem of abandoning this species in non-native areas and the threats that it brings to other animals. The signage also presents the concept of recovery centers and invasive animals in general. Short slogans to each topic should draw visitors' attention to the difficulties that the actual treatment of red-eared sliders provoke and show alternatives to uncontrolled releases into the environment.
 

UP MANAGEMENT:

To prevent the turtles from reproducing, the eggs are regularly collected by the keepers. A small area is separated by a wire netting from the large pond for animals that are possibly released anonymously.
 

UP RESEARCH:


 

UP CONSERVATION:

The opportunity of giving turtles to the recovery center reduces the number of abandoned animals in the wild and thereby protects native species in the region.
 

UP LOCAL RESOURCES:


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124K + description141K
Overview
©Lyon Zoo, 2016

 
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Site Plan
©Lyon Zoo, 2016

 
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Yellow-bellied slider (1)
©Jonas Livet, 2015

 
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Path to the exhibit (2)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Turtle beach (3)
©Lyon Zoo, 2016

 
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View into the exhibit (3)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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66K99K
False map turtle (3)
©Jonas Livet, 2014

 
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61K + description97K
View along the exhibit (4)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Sunbathing opportunities (5)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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75K122K
Sunbathing (5)
©Lyon Zoo, 2016

 
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61K99K
Keeper access (6)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Grasses (7)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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68K + description101K
Visitor area (8)
©Jonas Livet, 2013

 
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64K102K
Integration into park (9)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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62K97K
Seperation enclosure (10)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Red-eared slider (10)
©Jonas Livet, 2007

 
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Educational panels (11)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Sign 'Turtle biology' (12)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Sign 'Pet trade' (13)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Sign 'Effects to ecosystems' (14)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Sign 'Research' (15)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Sign 'The turtles' future' (16)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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Sign 'Neozoens' (17)
©Jonas Livet, 2008

 
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70K98K
Painted turtle (18)
©Jonas Livet, 2010

 

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You are visitor number 3753 to this exhibit presentation.


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