Star tortoise from at Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary to be released into forests

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A baby star tortoise cracks egg shell at the nursery of Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Magway Region.

Myanmar’s star tortoise, previously kept in farms at Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Magway Region, will now be released into natural forests, as announced by the warden office of the wildlife sanctuary in Minbu, Magway Region.
A total of 1,000 star tortoises, which are rare and endangered and native to Myanmar, are scheduled to be released into natural habitats. The purpose of releasing them into the sanctuary is to allow the tortoises to grow naturally. Young tortoises are raised in the sanctuary to increase their chances of survival in the wild.
Over 2,000 rare Myanmar star tortoises have been raised in the Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary. Among 1,000 tortoises being released into the natural forest, there are 500 males and 500 females. Between 2018 and 2019, 1,750 tortoises were released into their natural habitat during three separate occasions.
Currently, Myanmar star tortoises are bred and kept in Shwesettaw, Lawkananda, and Minnsontaung Wildlife Sanctuaries using a farm cage system. The population is steadily increasing and has reached approximately 20,000.
In these three sanctuaries, the Department of Forest ensures that the star tortoises have access to water and food, especially during the summer. Star tortoises, typically found in tropical regions, help promote plant growth by consuming seeds and later dispersing them, contributing to the growth of trees and forests.
Myanmar’s star tortoises are also showcased in zoos located in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, and Mandalay for public observation. Collaborative efforts from the Department of Forest, the Department of Fisheries, the Wildlife Conservation Society (Myanmar Programme) and the Tortoise Generation Survival Group aim to conserve and protect these rare turtle species native to Myanmar. — ASH/KZL

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