Large batagurid turtles of the genus Batagur are probably the most threatened freshwater turtles in India.  Their populations have been immensely reduced due to multiple factors such as poaching, accidental drowning in fishing gear, and habitat destruction.  They have all but disappeared from most of the Ganges river system, one of the world’s largest watersheds. …

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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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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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Alessandro Fornetti reported extensively on the confiscated shipments of tortoises that originated in Libya in the 2008 TSA Newsletter. At that time, the legal situation regarding the shipments was uncertain and even after almost three years, almost no progress could be reported. However, the condition of the first 2005 confiscation is stable. The animals were…

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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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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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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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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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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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