Myanmar protects over 1,000 endangered Burmese roofed turtles

Burmese roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata), which can be found only in Myanmar, inhabits in the Chindwin River near Linpha Village in Khamti Township, Sagaing Region, and over 1,000 turtles are under protection.
Myanmar has over 1,000 roofed turtles across the nation. They are conserved under a caging system in the Chindwin River, and over 200 turtles are released every year. During the third week of June, 25 male roofed turtles and 25 female roofed turtles were released into Chindwin River for the sixth time.
The carapace of an adult roofed turtle can reach up to 58 centimetres in length. Its plastron is yellow or cream-coloured, while the head and neck are brown or dark green. The head is moderate in size with a slightly pointed snout, and the jaw tip is pale in colour.
The species of Burmese roofed turtles are located in the Ayeyawady,

Chindwin, and Sittoung rivers and their tributaries.
In 2004-2005, the experts discovered their eggs on the sandbank of Linpha mid-water pagoda about 20 miles from Khamti Township in Chindwin River. The Environmental Conservation Department and Upper Chindwin NGO cooperated to conserve these species.
There are about 300 turtle species in the world, whereas 32 are found in Myanmar and are distinguished into aquatic turtles and land tortoises. Marine turtles are classified into two varieties, freshwater turtles and sea turtles, depending on the ecosystem. Most of the aquatic turtles are generally omnivores. The IUCN Red List stated that Burmese roofed turtles are an endangered species, and now they are protected under Forestry Law.
“I am very proud of my country as it possesses roofed turtles that cannot be found in the world. The turtles bring benefits to the freshwater ecosystem, and we have to protect them in their habitats. We tried to conduct public awareness programmes to help the public understand why the roofed turtles should be protected. Over 200 turtles are released into the natural land areas. There are over 100 in Myanmar. We are working with the Environmental Conservation Department to protect the species as they cannot be discovered in the world except Myanmar,” said U Myo Min Win, in charge of Upper Chindwin Turtle Conservation Group.
The roofed turtle species are not found in ASEAN countries. The Singapore Zoological Garden showcases Burmese roofed turtles, and Cambodia boasts similar roofed turtle species. Burmese roofed turtles are spotted in Yadanabon Zoological Garden, Yangon Zoological Garden and Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary. The roofed turtles can live between 60 to 100 years, their age can be determined by examining the stripes on the carapace.
Turtles have been on earth for about 260 million years, making them older than dinosaurs. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/KTZH

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14 July 2024