Building Partnerships to Save Madagascar’s Imperiled Tortoises

Southwestern MadagascarThe tortoises of southwestern Madagascar are in serious trouble, but fortunately a remarkable duo of devoted tortoise conservationists are working on their behalf through the Village des Tortues at Ifaty.  Bernard Devaux and Olivier Razandrimamilafiniarivo (Mami, for short) are running the largest tortoise facility in the south specifically created for these critically endangered tortoises. …

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Burmese Roof Turtle Field Report

The field research and conservation program for the endemic Burmese roofed turtle, Batagur trivittata, continues under the WCS Myanmar Program, and is based on the Upper Chindwin River.  The primary goal is to study the remnant nesting population, protect nests, and collect hatchlings for headstarting at the Yadanabon Zoo.  The eventual goal is to begin…

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Recent Acquisition of Northern Spider Tortoises

On the captive management side of things, the TSA is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of 9.12 Northern spider tortoises (Pyxis a. brygooi) from a private breeder.  This nearly doubled the PMP managed population of brygooi in the U.S. and the specimens were placed with three institutions (Cleveland Metroparks, San Diego and Knoxville Zoos)…

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The Sunderban Batagur

After obtaining a six-month permit from the West Bengal state forestry department, we began our conservation efforts for the critically endangered river terrapin, Batagur baska.  The recent phylogenetic work by Peter Praschag and colleagues identified the Indian populations of Batagur baska to be genetically distinct from other populations in Southeast Asia.  Peter’s findings made it…

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TSA and WCS sponsored workshop provides blueprint for turtle conservation in Myanmar

From 7 – 10 January 2009 the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), in conjunction with the Myanmar Forestry Department, conducted two workshops in Mandalay. A Species Recovery Plan (SRP) workshop for the Myanmar roof turtle, Kachuga (Batagur) trivittata, was followed by a comprehensive trade workshop entitled “Developing an Integrative Strategy for…

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Preliminary results of community based monitoring of the Radiated Tortoise at Lavavolo Classified Forest, Madagascar

The radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) inhabits the dry spiny forests of southern and southwestern Madagascar.  Regarded as a flagship species of the region, the existence of A. radiata is threatened by habitat destruction, illicit collection for local consumption and illegal trade in international markets.  Poaching of the tortoises is continuous year-round but predominantly occurs in…

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Update on the captive breeding of the red-crowned roof turtle at the MCBT

For the 5th year the critically endangered red-crowned roof turtle (Batagur kachuga) has reproduced in captivity at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust (MCBT). The 2009 season saw a maximum production of hatchlings – 29 in all – and these are all doing well, with one month old animals having increased in weight by 50% compared…

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New Chitra Conservation Program Off to an Impressive Start

In the fall of 2008, we initiated a status assessment and experimental hatch-and-release program for the endangered Indian Narrow Headed Softshell turtle (Chitra indica).  This is an extensively hunted species in north India, mostly for its outer cartilaginous rim or “calipee.”  Although its dried calipee is considered to be sub-standard in comparison to the other…

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TSA Africa is Born

The African division of the Turtle Survival Alliance has been created and is based in Senegal, a small country in West Africa. The chairman of the group is Tomas Diagne, an agronomist who is also member of IUCN/TFTSG. TSA Africa’s main objective is the study and conservation of land tortoises and freshwater turtles and their…

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Batagur headstarting facility at maximum capacity

There was good news recently for a rare species of River Terrapin (Batagur baska, now re-classified as Batagur affinis) in the Sre Ambel area of Cambodia’s coastal region, with the successful hatching of 23 eggs on a beach in the Sre Ambel River.The Fisheries Administration and WCS have been working with communities in the Sre…

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