Fine Tuning the Strategy to Save Madagascar’s Iconic Radiated Tortoise

by Jordan Gray With the impending rainy season looming and an outbreak of pneumonic plague quickly becoming an epidemic on the island nation of Madagascar, Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) President Rick Hudson and Utah Hogle Zoo’s (UHZ) Christina Castellano had little time to waste this October. On October 9th, after having received last-minute doses of doxycycline…

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New Tortoise Conservation Center Offers New Hope to Thousands of Tortoises in Southern Madagascar

by Howard Goldstein, Rick Hudson and Christina Castellano  The unprecedented upsurge in tortoise poaching in Madagascar has seen TSA and its allies respond stronger than ever, with record numbers of confiscations at the Ivato International airport in Antananarivo and in villages throughout Madagascar. As thousands of endemic Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata), as well as Spider Tortoises…

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TSA Teams in India and Madagascar Return Tortoises Home

by Heather Lowe  Confiscated endangered Malagasy tortoises were flown from Mumbai back to Madagascar in April with the support of a network of conservation organizations led by the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA). The customs and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) at Mumbai International Airport seized 146 ploughshare (Astrochelys yniphora) and radiated (A. radiata) Tortoises on March…

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No Break for Madagascar’s Tortoises in Sight

by Admin  Recently we reported a dramatic spike in poaching of Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) in Madagascar. Unfortunately, the smugglers didn’t take a break for the holidays, and on Christmas Day 555 juvenile tortoises were confiscated at the Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo. Four suitcases full of tortoises had passed through the baggage scanner and had…

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Tortoises Rescued in Madagascar

by Christine Bowie  The Turtle Survival Alliance was recently called on to assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of 771 critically endangered tortoises, confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade in Madagascar. The seizure, which consisted of Radiated (Astrochelys radiata) and Ploughshare (A. yniphora) Tortoises took place on September 28 when customs officials at the Ivato Airport…

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Largest Tortoise Confiscation in Madagascar’s History

by Heather Lowe  On the evening of June 2, Air Madagascar Flight MD 151 from Hahaya Airport returned 968 tortoises to Madagascar, after they were confiscated in the Comoros Islands. The group was comprised of all Radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata), with the exception of one Ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora). All of them are juveniles and the…

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Ploughshare Tortoises Among Shipment of 521 Seized at Ivato Airport in Madagascar

Herilala Randriamahazo (Director, TSA Madagascar) reported another large tortoise confiscation this week at the Ivato airport in Antananarivo. On Sunday, May 11, 521 tortoises – all juveniles – were seized prior to being loaded on a Kenya Aiways flight to Nairobi; the smuggler ran away when his name was called by the information desk and was not…

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Turtles In Trouble

Click here  for a PDF version of the full report. The plight of the planet’s tortoises and turtles — creatures that have roamed the Earth for 220 million years — has never been greater, according to the newly released report “Turtles in Trouble: Top 25+ Endangered Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles .”  It shows the world’s 25 most endangered…

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Malagasy Tortoise Coordinator Hired

We are pleased to announce that the TSA has hired Herilala Randriamahazo, a long – time tortoise conservation biologist, as our full-time Malagasy Tortoise Conservation Coordinator. He started on September 1 and will work out of the office of the Henry Doorly Zoo’s Madagascar Biodiversity Program in the capitol city of Antananarivo.  HDZ will provide him…

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