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August 09, 2018

300 star tortoises released in Minsontaung Wildlife Sanctuary

Conservationists released around 300 star tortoises into their natural environment for the fourth time.  Photo: Nyi Tu
Conservationists released around 300 star tortoises into their natural environment for the fourth time.  Photo: Nyi Tu

SOME 300 star tortoises were soft released on Saturday in the Minsontaung Wildlife Sanctuary in Natogyi Township, Mandalay Region.
The programme is coordinated by the Forest Department, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Turtle Survival Alliance.
This is the fourth time star tortoises, a critically endangered species, have been sent to the sanctuary since 2013. Since then, a total of 1,050 star tortoises were successfully released to the natural forest.
According to the conservation programme, 150 star tortoises were released to the sanctuary for the first time. The number of star tortoises released to the sanctuary raised to 300 in 2015 and an additional 300 in 2017. Another 300 star tortoises were soft resealed to the same sanctuary on 24 February of this year.
According to the follow-up research, seven per cent of star tortoises gave birth naturally in the Minsontaung sanctuary.
The rare species is native to the dry and deciduous forests in the country. It can be found in Mandalay, Sagaing and Magway regions. This kind of tortoise normally eats grass, weeds, leaves, flowers and other fibrous plants as well as earthworms and snails. The tortoises normally lay eggs up to four times a year.
There are three protected areas for star tortoises in the country: Lawkananda Wildlife Sanctuary in Bagan; Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary in Minbu Township and Minsontaung Wildlife Sanctuary in Natogyi Township.
The conservationists also released some 900 star tortoises to the Shwesettaw Wildlife Sanctuary last month.—Nyi Tu

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