Rare Burmese Roofed Turtles total 34 at Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary

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The endangered Burmese roofed turtles, which has been saved from extinction, hatched for the third time at Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary, reaching a total of 34 turtles, said U Shwe Htay Aung, warden of Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary.
In a bid to protect those Burmese roofed turtles from extinction, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) handed over 100 roofed turtles to the Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary under the approval of the Department of Forest, including 3 to 4 years old 40 male and 60 female turtles. The Department transferred some turtles to WCS and TSA so that 10 male roofed turtles and six female turtles were sent to Singapore in 2016. Additionally, ten male turtles were set free into Chindwin River in Kanni city, Sagaing Region in 2018. This being so, 20 male turtles and 54 female turtles are bred at the Lawkananda Wildlife sanctuary, U Shwe Htay Aung elaborated.
The roofed turtles hatching succeeded in ten years after the Department of Forest under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, WCS and TSA jointly conducted roofed turtle conservation and research, he continued.
Those Burmese roofed turtles which can be found only in Myanmar is the second most critically endangered species in the world. Four female roofed turtles out of 54 reportedly laid eggs in artificial sand in January and February this year. A baby turtle hatched on 12 April 2021, while the other two turtles came out of eggs on 19 April. Then, one on 22 and four on 25 April were born respectively. In addition, 26 more turtles hatched between 8 May and 17 July 2021. Mating happened in October 2020, explained U Shwe Htay Aung regarding turtle hatching at the sanctuary. The officials establish nursery farms for the roofed turtles to systematically and separately breed them from the star tortoises.
The Forest Department, WCS and TSA cooperatively carried out research on sexual maturity, turtles mating, egg-laying and hatching times. The staff of the sanctuary and voluntary staff conserved and successfully researched the Burmese roofed turtles until hatching in the past ten years, under the medical care of Vet Dr Tin Lwin.
The Burmese roofed turtles are found in Yadanabon Zoological Gardens, Yangon Zoological Gardens and Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary. Those turtles which have been sent to Singapore has not been reproduced yet, said Dr Kalayar, regional director of TSA. “I believed the reproduction of roofed turtles will improve like the rare start tortoises kept at the sanctuary”, U Shwe Htay Aung Stated.
Those Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata) can be discovered in Ayeyawady, Chindwin and Sittoung rivers and tributaries. Those roofed turtles are herbivores. They were listed in CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) appendix ii in 2010, categorized as critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2012, completely protected by MWL in 2018. — KPD/GNLM

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