Global New Light Of Myanmar

Star tortoise population over 2,300 in Minsontaung Wildlife Sanctuary

star tortoises
Myanmar star tortoises, a critically endangered species, are found mostly in arid climates. Photo: Taintaman

THE current population of Myanmar star tortoises (Geochelone Platynota) in the Minsontaung Wildlife Sanctuary reached over 2,300, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
These star tortoises have been classified as a critically endangered species and are being nurtured in the sanctuary located in Natogyi Township, Myingyan District, Mandalay Region, by the government under its systematic conservation plan.
The rare species is native to the dry and deciduous forests in the country. It can be found in Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. This kind of tortoise normally eats grass, weeds, leaves, flowers and other fibrous plants as well as earthworms and snails. The tortoises normally lay eggs up to four times a year.
Forest fires, the destruction of their habitats and illegal commercial trading are the main reason star tortoises have been brought close to extinction.  There are three protected areas for the rare and beautiful star tortoises in the country: Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary in Bagan; Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Minbu Township and Minsontaung Wildlife Sanctuary in Natogyi Township. The Myanmar star tortoises are characterised by the highly distinctive star or radiating patterns on their upper shell. Males are distinguished from the females by a much thicker and longer tail.—Taintaman

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