Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Extinction, Groups Say

Date:
February 11, 2008
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
Madagascar's turtles and tortoises, which rank among the most endangered reptiles on earth, will continue to crawl steadily toward extinction unless major conservation measure are enacted, according to a recent assessment. The researchers said there is still hope to save these ancient animals, but time is running out as their habitat continues to shrink and illegal hunting worsens. Five of the nine assessed species have been downgraded to critically endangered, with one variety -- the ploughshare tortoise -- now numbering only a few hundred individuals. The other critically endangered species include the radiated tortoise, flat-tailed tortoise, spider tortoise and Madagascar big-headed turtle, all of which are found nowhere else on earth.

A radiated tortoise at Cap Saint Marie -- a protected area on the southernmost tip of Madagascar.
Credit: Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society

Madagascar's turtles and tortoises, which rank among the most endangered reptiles on earth, will continue to crawl steadily toward extinction unless major conservation measure are enacted, according to a recent assessment by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups.

The groups, which met for four days in Madagascar's capital city Antananarivo, said there is still hope to save these ancient animals, but time is running out as their habitat continues to shrink and illegal hunting worsens. Five of the nine assessed species have been downgraded to critically endangered, with one variety -- the ploughshare tortoise -- now numbering only a few hundred individuals. The other critically endangered species include the radiated tortoise, flat-tailed tortoise, spider tortoise and Madagascar big-headed turtle, all of which are found nowhere else on earth.

"Madagascar's ancient tortoises and turtles are marching toward extinction unless an all-out effort is made to protect these living national treasures," said Dr. James Deutsch, director for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Africa programs. "The good news is that there's still time to save Madagascar's tortoises and turtles from extinction, and we know how to tackle the issues."

The workshop participants concluded that illegal trade continues to be the largest single threat for several of critically endangered species. Ploughshare, spider and flat-tailed tortoises, along with juvenile radiated tortoises, are particularly coveted by collectors and traded as pets on the international black market. Meanwhile, adult radiated tortoises are sold for food in regional markets in Tulιar and Fort-Dauphin.

In order to combat these illegal activities, the workshop participants recommended the creation of a "tortoise brigade" to monitor and control illegal trade. Confiscated tortoises could be repatriated to areas where populations had been decimated by illegal trade, and with subsequent enforcement eco-tourism opportunities could follow.

Moreso, the participants recognized that Madagascar's traditions that once protected tortoises needed to be revitalized. Therefore, working with local people was identified as an essential component of any future conservation effort. The groups went onto say that more survey work was needed to identify unprotected tortoise populations, as well as increased captive breeding and reintroduction efforts.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates field projects throughout the island nation, will open Madagascar! on June 19th -- a new exhibit at its Bronx Zoo headquarters that showcases the country's amazing biodiversity including radiated and spider tortoises. The exhibit will also be a state-of-the-art energy efficient, green building, and the first land-marked building in New York to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Extinction, Groups Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207124624.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2008, February 11). Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Extinction, Groups Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207124624.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Extinction, Groups Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080207124624.htm (accessed August 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins