Some 30 Myanmar roofed turtles, a critically endangered species, have been released into the upper Chindwin River, Kani District, Sagaing Region.
The roofed turtles have been released into the compound that was built inside the Chindwin River in two months through a soft release programme. After two months, the turtles will be released into the Chindwin River.
The Forest Department undertook the Myanmar roofed turtles conservation programme in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA).
Myanmar released some 10 roofed turtles into the river in 2007, seven in 2011 and 60 in 2013. Now, it is planning to release some 30 turtles in 2018, said Myo Min Win, who is in charge of the Myanmar roofed turtles conservation camp.
The Myanmar roofed turtle is an endemic species that only survives in Myanmar. Earlier, Myanmar roofed turtles were found in the Ayeyawady, Chindwin, Sittaung and Thanlwin rivers. However, they are now found only in the upper Chindwin river, as rampant fishing has destroyed turtle eggs that get caught in the fishing hook.
According to the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law (1994), people who catch and smuggle roofed turtles shall be slapped with a seven-year imprisonment term or fined.