Star Tortoises: Increasing Number In Lawkananda

14 August 2019
2019-08-14 15:59

More than 1000 star tortoises were born this year at Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary in Nyaung U Township of Mandalay Region, according to the administrator of the sanctuary.

The Myanmar star tortoise is a critically endangered tortoise species, native to the dry, deciduous forests of Myanmar. This year, 48 percent of the eggs had incubated and a total of 1,315 baby tortoises were born. 

Park Warden, Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Shwe Htay Aung said “We conserve star tortoises in the sanctuary with the objectives: to reproduce them by nurturing in the fence, to release small tortoises in their natural habitat, to make research for experts and enthusiasts and to have close observation for the public.”

May, June, July and August are the mating season of star tortoises. A female tortoise lays eggs for one to six times from September to March. The eggs hatch baby tortoises in May, June and July.

Forest ranger, Star Tortoise Conservation Camp (Lawkananda), Myint Maung said “After the babies are hatched from the eggs, we nurture them by making fence. Because, we are afraid of them from the dangers of snakes and falcons. We nurture them until 3-year old. They grow up at the age of 5 or 6 years. After that, we are free them into the forest as a natural.”

The star tortoises are marketable species in the globe. Some countries mark them as a lucky animal. So, they are put on sale through illegal market. The star tortoises have been conserved in the Lawkananda sanctuary since 2001 and there were only 82 tortoises at that time.

Currently, the population is increased to 5,806 in the conservation camp.  The world’s biggest star tortoise at the age of about 20 years can be found in the sanctuary.

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