2,072 rare Myanmar star tortoises breed in Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary

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Rare species Star tortoises are being fed feedstuff in Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Minbu Township. Photo : Zeyar Htet

A total of 2,072 Myanmar star tortoises, which are listed as rare species, have been bred and hatched in Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Minbu Township, Magway Region, said U Aung San, assistant director of Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary Natural Environment and Wildlife Conservation Branch.
Star tortoises in the Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary are a native species found only in the central tropical region of Myanmar.
In order to protect Star Tortoise from the danger of extinction, the Department of Forest, Wildlife Group and the Turtle Survival Group raised fences to conserve the rare species in the Mandalay Yadanabon Park, Lawkananda Sanctuary, Minsone Mountain Sanctuary, and Shwesettaw Sanctuary.
A total of 297 tortoises were hatched in 2014, and now up to 2,072 turtles are under conservation. Star tortoises are illegally hunted and killed by hunting dogs to be eaten by people living in rural areas. There is an illegal trade in star tortoises because wealthy people are breeding them as pets.
The star tortoises became extinct and rare due to the cutting of trees and the reclamation of agricultural land.
Therefore, in order to protect the tortoises from the danger of extinction, they are raised by fences.
Star tortoises breed from late September to May, and tortoises often lay eggs, up to 11 at a time. Eggs are laid three or four times a year. They usually hatch in June, July, and eggs that do not hatch until August are destroyed.
Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary has high temperature and sandy soil, so only 50 to 70 per cent of tortoise hatch.
The hatchlings eat normally, but if their body weight decreases, they must be fed with laxatives.
If the water is dehydrated, the health of the turtles will be affected, they must see Veterinarian.
Sweet potato leaves as food for star tortoises, gourd Cabbage watermelon, and feedstuff such as popcorn can be fed.
In previous years, during the Mann Shwesettaw Buddha Pujaniya Festival, small natural stone rocks were made and displayed in the farm cage in the gallery so that pilgrims could study the star turtles.
In Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary, a variety of tortoises and star tortoises live in the garden, and since there is a risk of extinction, they have been included in the list of completely protected wildlife species and are being carefully conserved.—Zeyar Htet (Minbu)/GNLM

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