By Henk Zwartepoorte, ReHerp Foundation chair.
Since the official registration at a notary in Rotterdam and registration at the Rotterdam Chamber of Commerce August 2015 there has been made some progress.
The ReHerp foundation target species are two chelonian species and the crocodile tailed lizard.
In the near future we expect to receive more donations and partners. The initiation of the ReHerp Foundation led to many positive reactions from where new developments are to be expected.
October 31, 2015 the Reherp Foundation received her first critically endangered tortoises. It concerned 36 captive born Egyptian tortoises (Testudo kleinmanni) as a donation by Johan end Marja Lansbergen and Job Stumpel.
The animals are homed in a special ReHerp fascility at the SERPO Zoo in Rijswijk, Netherlands with whom the ReHerp foundation closely co operates.
In January 2016 the ReHerp Foundation received a number of Vietnam freshwater turtle species (Mauremys annamensis) a critically endangered species.
Through co operation with the Rotterdam Zoo, where the 10 animals hatched, this small group now is part of the captive ReHerp breeding colony.
This species was assumed to be extinct in the wild until 2007. In 2007 in central Vietnam in remote areas small numbers were rediscovered.
From the ReHerp breeding colony animals can be used in the future for reintroduction in the wild. Recovery of wild habitat is under development and executed by local governmental organizations together with the Asian Turtle Program and Education for Nature Vietnam.
The ReHerp Foundation establishes breeding colonies of critically endangered reptile and amphibian species for reintroduction purposes. This foundation was initiated in 2015 by former Rotterdam Zoo staff members. Their knowledge and experience is of high value regarding managing these delicate species. Furthermore the international network, built up within the past three decades, is essential regarding reintroduction programs.
Recovery and reintroduction are the key aims of the ReHerp foundation.
In November 2015 a start was made with the Egyptian tortoises. The Vietnam freshwater turtle is the second species the ReHerp foundation plans to be involved in regarding conservation and recovery.
The Reherp breeding assurance colony is homed at the SERPO Reptile Zoo in Rijswijk in the Netherlands. The animals are kept in a room not accessible to the public. A few representatives of the two mentioned species will be shown to the SERPO Zoo visitors in the near future.
With several European zoos contacts are made for co operation in order to establish more breeding options. Also with private breeders co operation is discussed.
By intensive co operation within Europe and with countries of origin the ReHerp Foundation can be seen as a vital partner.