justanimaladay:

Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata

The Radiated Tortoise is endemic to Madagascar, preferring to live in the dry brush and thorn forests in the southern portion of the island. They graze on grasses, which make up most of their diet, but will also feed on cacti and fruits if they find them. They are very long lived, with estimated lifespans of up to 100 years. The oldest verified Radiated Tortoise belonged to the royal family of Tonga and lived to be 188 years old. 

These tortoises are classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, as they have disappeared from 40% of their native range, and are experiencing ongoing population decline. In fact, it is estimated that they will be extinct within the next 50 years if current trends continue. Threats to the population are mainly habitat loss due to human expansion, and exploitation for the pet trade and for food by local people. 

justanimaladay:

Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata

The Radiated Tortoise is endemic to Madagascar, preferring to live in the dry brush and thorn forests in the southern portion of the island. They graze on grasses, which make up most of their diet, but will also feed on cacti and fruits if they find them. They are very long lived, with estimated lifespans of up to 100 years. The oldest verified Radiated Tortoise belonged to the royal family of Tonga and lived to be 188 years old. 

These tortoises are classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, as they have disappeared from 40% of their native range, and are experiencing ongoing population decline. In fact, it is estimated that they will be extinct within the next 50 years if current trends continue. Threats to the population are mainly habitat loss due to human expansion, and exploitation for the pet trade and for food by local people. 

justanimaladay:

Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata

The Radiated Tortoise is endemic to Madagascar, preferring to live in the dry brush and thorn forests in the southern portion of the island. They graze on grasses, which make up most of their diet, but will also feed on cacti and fruits if they find them. They are very long lived, with estimated lifespans of up to 100 years. The oldest verified Radiated Tortoise belonged to the royal family of Tonga and lived to be 188 years old. 

These tortoises are classed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, as they have disappeared from 40% of their native range, and are experiencing ongoing population decline. In fact, it is estimated that they will be extinct within the next 50 years if current trends continue. Threats to the population are mainly habitat loss due to human expansion, and exploitation for the pet trade and for food by local people. 

Radiated tortoise in Madagascar with destroyed habitat. As the radiated tortoises are herbivores, grazing constitutes 80-90% of their diets, while they also eat fruits and succulent plants. They are known to graze regularly in the same area and are now endangered because of habitat destruction

Photograph: Gemma Catlin/Rex features

Radiated tortoise in Madagascar with destroyed habitat. As the radiated tortoises are herbivores, grazing constitutes 80-90% of their diets, while they also eat fruits and succulent plants. They are known to graze regularly in the same area and are now endangered because of habitat destruction

Photograph: Gemma Catlin/Rex features

rhamphotheca:

The Turtle Conservancy in Madagascar:

The ploughshare tortoise is not only the rarest tortoise in the world, it is arguably the most beautiful of them all.

Turtle Conservancy Team members have been involved with the ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) for decades, and in 2008 we began a major new effort with this most critically endangered tortoise. Funds are financing in situ work, enhancing protection of the ploughshare tortoise in Baly Bay National Park, where poaching is devastating the wild population.

With these funds we have now hired additional park rangers and guards, and purchased a boat – decreasing the time to mobilize and increasing law enforcement within the park. Although completely protected by law, the political instability in Madagascar has made it all too easy for poachers to remove a significant portion of the remaining wild population, estimated at 200-600 tortoises…

(read more: Turtle Trust)

Help support the trust to save endangered turtles!

rhamphotheca:

The Turtle Conservancy in Madagascar:

The ploughshare tortoise is not only the rarest tortoise in the world, it is arguably the most beautiful of them all.

Turtle Conservancy Team members have been involved with the ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) for decades, and in 2008 we began a major new effort with this most critically endangered tortoise. Funds are financing in situ work, enhancing protection of the ploughshare tortoise in Baly Bay National Park, where poaching is devastating the wild population.

With these funds we have now hired additional park rangers and guards, and purchased a boat – decreasing the time to mobilize and increasing law enforcement within the park. Although completely protected by law, the political instability in Madagascar has made it all too easy for poachers to remove a significant portion of the remaining wild population, estimated at 200-600 tortoises…

(read more: Turtle Trust)

Help support the trust to save endangered turtles!

rhamphotheca:

The Turtle Conservancy in Madagascar:

The ploughshare tortoise is not only the rarest tortoise in the world, it is arguably the most beautiful of them all.

Turtle Conservancy Team members have been involved with the ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) for decades, and in 2008 we began a major new effort with this most critically endangered tortoise. Funds are financing in situ work, enhancing protection of the ploughshare tortoise in Baly Bay National Park, where poaching is devastating the wild population.

With these funds we have now hired additional park rangers and guards, and purchased a boat – decreasing the time to mobilize and increasing law enforcement within the park. Although completely protected by law, the political instability in Madagascar has made it all too easy for poachers to remove a significant portion of the remaining wild population, estimated at 200-600 tortoises…

(read more: Turtle Trust)

Help support the trust to save endangered turtles!

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf

rhamphotheca:

The Race To Save Tortoises

Turtles and tortoises have been roaming the planet for 200 million years, but now many of them are endangered by poachers who can sell some animals for as much as $60,000. Lesley Stahl reports from Madagascar.

From this past sunday’s 60 minutes. A must see for everyone.