Postcard from Madagascar: In Pursuit of the Plowshare Tortoise

This week’s issue features William Finnegan’s piece about a Manhattan night-life baron’s race to save the world’s rarest species of tortoise: the angonoka, or plowshare tortoise, which is coveted by collectors on the illegal market. We sent the South Africa-based photographer Jonathan Torgovnik to Madagascar, home of the last remaining habitat for these animals, to capture that night-life baron, Eric Goode, in the field with the tortoises he has committed himself to protect.
– For more of Torgovnik’s photos from Madagascar: http://nyr.kr/xNAjAh

so cute!


I posted the video about this here a few days ago.. but this needs a post.. THAT FACE!! OMG. 


. by sarah=lynch

Tortoises are known by the world quite famously for carrying their homes with them. I’ve read all the stories and seen all the movies and have happily bought into the ide a that they are wise sages and should not be underestimated just because of their speed.

Because they always manage to get there in the end, regardless of how slow.

Galápagos tortoises are known for their massive size, weighing just over 400 kilogrames and lengths of 5.9 feet. They were thought to be extinct 150 years ago, until recently, when researchers found  evidence that may mean some are still alive. A Yale University team found hybrid tortoises on Isabela, an island, some as young as 15 years of age, which means their parents are around, somewhere.

This is pretty incredible considering finding them would mean these gorgeous species have managed to live under the radar for a pretty long time.

The different shapes of the giant tortoises on the various Galapagos islands was one of the vital evidences needed by Charles Darwin to piece together his groundbreaking theory of evolution, but human exploitation led to their fall in numbers.

Honestly, I hope the tortoises have some time before they’re found. I imagine a life without our greed has bode them well, and to be once again acquainted with the people responsible for the death of their kind cannot and probably will not be a pleasant experience. 


Video: Saving the Plowshare Tortoise

This week in the magazine, William Finnegan travels to Madagascar with Eric Goode [sub. req.], a Manhattan night-life baron “who tramps through mountains looking for turtles, tortoises, snakes, lizards, frogs, crocodilians,” Finnegan writes.

In this video, Goode seeks out the world’s rarest turtle, the plowshare tortoise. While trying to help save it from extinction, he travels to a wildlife conservatory and finds himself in a high-risk negotiation with local smugglers.