The Behler Chelonian Center, established in 2005, is the Turtle Conservancy's southern California facility dedicated to a strategic captive breeding and management program.
Since its inception, the Behler Chelonian Center has successfully bred 15 species of turtles and tortoises. The campus houses over 500 animals representing 25 taxa including several founders of the radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) Species Survival Plan as well as the first spider tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) hatchlings recorded in the United States.
The Behler Chelonian Center supports researchers, ecologists, conservationists, students, and filmmakers-all working to preserve turtles and tortoises around the globe. The campus has hosted many of the world's leading authorities on turtle and tortoise natural history and conservation, including Ray Farrell, Brian Horne, Rick Hudson, Jim Juvik, Ross Kiester, Gerald Kuchling, Tom Leuteritz, Tom Licitra, Russell Mittermeier, Peter Praschag, Peter Pritchard, and Craig Stanford. Annually, the Turtle Conservancy awards grants to foreign students allowing them to participate in conservation projects on the Behler Chelonian Center campus.
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