A comprehensive online guide to Hermann's tortoises and all other species of the genus Testudo.
Hermanni Haven was founded in 2013 after Chris Leone of Garden State Tortoise was able to begin acquiring historic, locality specific groups of the endangered western Hermann's tortoise for preservation purposes. Since the age of 9, breeding this tortoise has been a prized project for Chris and it has now turned into a globally known effort.
Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni ssp) have risen in popularity over the last few decades but despite them being a familiar tortoise to most, much of their natural history, needs, and proper identification has been ignored. For Chris Leone and Garden State Tortoise, Hermann's tortoises have been a staple in the collection as well as a major topic in discussions, literature or presentations given. While the eastern Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni boettgeri) continues to rein as a favored pet across the planet, it is the western subspecies (Testudo hermanni hermanni) that sits, tucked away as a completely misunderstood animal in herpetoculture and even in the majority of conservation efforts today.
Testudo hermanni hermanni is one of the most endangered reptiles in western Europe. It is a special chelonian, sensitive to the changes our ever-changing world presses on with and certain populations within its natural range face extinction. Aside from the typical threats most turtles and tortoises are saddled with, the western Hermann's tortoise is also threatened with impurity both in captive collections and in the wild. Sadly, this rare tortoise is sometimes bred to its common eastern cousin and because its eastern cousin is kept so widely by humans, the irresponsible often lose them from escapes or simply ditch them in areas where the western tortoises naturally occur. The result is useless hybrids which grow to large proportions and out-compete the less-robust pure specimens. For these reasons, Chris Leone and Steve Enders, executive director for theTurtleRoom, launched the North American Regional Studbook for Testudo hermanni hermanni.
The studbook gained recognition quickly with serious American enthusiasts and also with the European Studbook Foundation which already held its own for the western Hermann's tortoise. Chris continues to breed them in locality specific groups after performing a genetic analysis on them in 2015. In addition to Testudo hermanni hermanni, Garden State Tortoise maintains both eastern and Dalmatian Hermann's tortoise breeding groups as well as many other species or subspecies belonging to the famous tortoise genus Testudo. On his comprehensive website HermanniHaven.com you can dive into the world of not just Hermann's tortoises but of the entire Testudo species group. Greek, Marginated, and Egyptian tortoise photos, literature and more are all available to the viewer featuring the most up-to-date information. Be sure to visit the site today.
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