The Ploughshare Tortoise is the most endangered tortoise in the world. With wild populations on the brink of extinction, it has become clear to the conservation community that action must be scaled up substantially if we hope to save this species...
Eric Goode attended a meeting of the International Angonoka Working Group at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust offices in Madagascar where the dire situation of the Critically Endangered Ploughshare Tortoise was discussed. In attendance were the Malagasy government, TRAFFIC, Durrell, and Owen Griffiths of Beanka, among others. This tortoise is in grave danger of extinction in the wild, and it is difficult to remain optimistic about its future. On a positive note, the Malagasy government approved of a select group of ex situ facilities, including the TC and Durrell, having confiscated Ploughshare Tortoises. Owen Griffiths’s new conservation project, Beanka, located on the west coast of Madagascar, is set to open in 2016 and will include a research station, a program introducing juvenile Aldabra Tortoises, and a new secure area for Ploughshares.
Tech Times - Tortoises may be saved from rustlers using a highly-unusual technique - conservationists defacing their shells. By so doing, the environmental activists hope to make them unattractive to those looking to steal the animals for sale as pets.
NPR - They're a quiet bunch, the hundreds of animals residing at the well-guarded botanical oasis in California's Ojai Valley. They've been brought to the Turtle Conservancy from countries around the world, like modern-day refugees escaping certain and persistent perils.
Just before the Holidays, Turtle Conservancy’s Managing Director and veterinarian, Dr. Paul Gibbons, returned to Bangkok, Thailand together with representatives from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Richard Lewis and Tsanta Fiderana Rakotonanahary from Madagascar. The purpose of this visit was to teach a seminar on managing the health and husbandry of large groups of confiscated turtles and tortoises, and to monitor the status of the confiscated Ploughshare Tortoises that we assisted with in May 2013.
The Star - Rare tortoises are branded to make them unattractive to poachers.
BuzzFeed - An initiative to deter poaches from selling the endangered ploughshare tortoises on the black market has lead to a unusual strategy.
Smithsonian.com - If the tortoises' shells are marred with numbers and letters, they'll be less appealing to poachers
ABC News - Some of the rarest tortoises in the world are a hot commodity on the black market for their unique golden shells which can sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
Los Angeles Times - The booming illegal international wildlife trade forced conservationists to do the unthinkable Tuesday: Brand the golden domes of two of the rarest tortoises on Earth to reduce their black market value by making it easier for authorities to trace them if stolen.