Torsten Blanck

When he received his first turtle, a red ear slider on his fourth birthday, his fascination with turtles began and has only strengthened ever since. Growing up in the turtle-favorable climate of southern Spain led to early breeding successes of various turtle species from around the globe. During the 1990's at the peak of the Asian Turtle Crisis and his first visits to Asia, he started to focus on asian turtle species, including species in the genus Cuora. After moving to Austria in the early 2000's the focus on husbandry became even more limited and is now restricted to this single genus, the genus in highest trouble, Cuora, the asian box turtles. Captive breeding, taxonomy, field research and the asian turtle trade (Crisis) are his main interests. Field-wise, East Asia has become his primary area of research with the final goal to find every Southeast/East Asian species in the wild. Furthermore, Torsten regularly surveys turtle farms and the Chinese turtle trade. The main focus in the field currently lies in finding Cuora zhoui, the rarest Cuora species now that was described in 1990 to science but has not been recorded from the wild so far. In the field of taxonomy he is interested in asian geoemydids and has described the species Cuora cyclornata in 2006. He leads the European Studbook for Cuora trifasciata and Cuora cyclornata, he is the founder of the Cuora Conservation Center and is a member of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG), Turtle Survival Alliance (Field Conservation Committee) and multiple other turtle organizations around the globe.