Behler Chelonian Center
The Turtle Conservancy and Behler Chelonian Center (TC-BCC) is a scientific and educational organization dedicated to conserving the world’s biological diversity for future generations to experience by promoting the survival of threatened and endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles. The TC-BCC was established in 2005 and is certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Turtle Conservancy is committed to promoting in situ conservation and field research of threatened and endangered chelonians globally. Our work includes protection of species in their natural habitat, education about conservation, and field-based research. We campaign for conservation legislation, re-evaluation of species’ status in the wild, and development of comprehensive protection strategies for turtles and tortoises where they are threatened.
Along with the TC’s efforts, BCC cares for an assurance colony and maintains a captive reproduction program in Southern California. We establish detailed protocols for husbandry and breeding by combining natural history data with extensive husbandry experience and active research. Species at BCC include founder animals of the Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) Species Survival Plan and the first recorded Spider Tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) hatchlings in the United States. We currently house over 500 chelonians representing more than 27 taxa, and our success includes breeding and hatching of 15 threatened species. Animals at BCC benefit from peaceful surroundings and minimal human contact, living in habitats that simulate their native environment.