The “Emys center” was established in the year 2000, where once was the “Isolabella” forestry nursery, in Leca, nearby Albenga, Savona province. The center in now managed by the Savona province, in collaboration with Acquario di Genova, National Forestry Department (Corpo Forestale dello Stato), DISTAV, and ProNatura Genova.
It is composed by a small area of 100square mt, organized with 4 tanks: the largest hosts almost 15 breeding Emys orbicularis ingauna, while in the remaining thanks are hosted sub-adults turtles ready to be released along with juveniles born at the center.
Breeding occurs every year; so far more than 300 terrapins have been born at the Center, spend their first winters at the Acquario di Genova, in a dedicated area and under veterinary care.
Since 2008, more than 100 subjects, born at the Center, have been released in the protected areas of the Savona province. Thanks to the Emys Project, the Center has been restructured so to provide even better conditions for the animals hosted before releasing into the wild.
L’Acquario di Genova
At the aquarium, precisely in the part of the structure represented by the Biodiversity pavilion, a curatorial area with 14 tanks have been built, in order to host the Emys orbicularis born by the Leca d’Albenga Centro Emys.
Here the baby turtles are kept in order to avoid the high mortality rates typical of these life stage. Each animal receive a microchip and a carapace mark that will aloud the re-sight once released.
After almost 2 year at the aquarium, the terrapin will be transferred again to the Centro Emys, where they will spend another year before being released in the protected areas.
Since the start of the LFE EMYS project, more than 200 animals spent their first winters in the animal house at the Aquarium.
Pistoia zoological garden
At the Pistoia Zoological Garden, an artificial pond has been built in order to host the alien pond turtle captured in the intervention areas. Once captured, the alien turtles, are kept for few days in the temporary tanks, then are moved to Pistoia, and release in the artificial pond.
Thanks to the LIFE EMYS project, another artificial pond, with informative signs and project explanations has been built for public awareness.