The Veterinary department of the Cardenal Herrera University will be participating in the European project Life09-Trachemys whose aim is to protect native and exotic tortoises

Clara Marín and Santiago Vega, professors of the Cardenal Herrera University, will develop the epidemiological characterization of the Galapagos in different wetland areas of Valencia, as part of the Life09 project.

The Veterinary department of the Cardenal Herrera University will be participating in the European project Life09-Trachemy, a multinational project developed between Spain and Portugal. The main objective of this project is to prevent the loss of biological diversity in fresh water ecosystems, which has occurred due to exotic tortoises occupying these areas. The project also aims to safeguard the most important species and habitats found in the European Union.

The part of the project that the professors of the Cardenal Herrera University, Clara Marín and Santiago Vega, will be responsible for are the development of tissue cultures and also carrying out a series of tests. They will take blood and faeces samples from both the exotic Galapagos tortoises as well as the native Galapagos fresh water tortoises; the results should expose the effects that pathogens found in the samples have not only on the Galapagos tortoises but also on public health as a whole.

The LIFE program is the European Union’s financial instrument for the conservation and protection of nature, co-financing environmental initiatives in EU member states.

The present project is part of the program’s LIFE + Biodiversity section which aims to develop innovative and demonstrative projects which will contribute to the implementation of the objectives set out in the Communication from the Commission, “Halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010 – and beyond” (COM (2006) 216 final).

The scheme LIFE-Trachemys will facilitate an exchange of experiences between regional administration, two public companies, a university and a NGO.

Within the Autonomous Community of Valencia the project is working on 13 action areas and there are another 4 located in Portugal. Furthermore, there are 4 Reception Centres (“La Granja” de El Saler Wildlife Recovery Centre and the El Palmar Fish Research Centre in the Autonomous Community of Valencia and the GAIA y el RIAS Biological Park and the Ria Formosa Wildlife Recovery and Research Centre in Portugal).

The European project Life 09- Trachemys also works towards the conservation of various endemic fish populations and endangered indigenous turtle species by implementing specific regulations to avoid the trading and sale of exotic turtles as pets and informing society about the problems and harms that can come to species when set free into the wild.

This is one of several research projects on which the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of University CEU Cardenal Herrera are currently working on, continuing to encourage joint research projects between teachers and students. CEU-UCH’s Faculty of Veterinary Sciences has its own teaching and research farm complete with several animal species to facilitate students’ practical training and research. UCH-CEU also has the Clinical Veterinary Hospital, a referral centre where students and teachers of the faculty can attend to animals referred by vets from all over the Autonomous Community of Valencia.

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