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Arakan Forest Turtle
Endangered Arakan Forest Turtle Spotted in the Wild
Written by Mariella Moon
The Arakan forest turtle was once thought to be extinct until some specimens were found peddled as food in China. According to LiveScience, it was 1908 since a live specimen – just a single one – was last collected by an Army officer from Britain. But in an elephant sanctuary in Myanmar, a team of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) personnel discovered five endangered turtle species, one of which is the Arakan forest turtle. The animal is small, with adults measuring less than a foot in length, and is characterized by its brown coloring and block mottling. Like many other turtle species in Asia, the Arakan forest turtle’s existence has been threatened by poaching.
“Throughout Asia, turtles are being wiped out by poachers for the illegal wildlife trade,” said Colin Poole, WCS Director of Asia programs. “We are delighted and astonished that this extremely rare species is alive and well in Myanmar. Now we must do what we can to protect the remaining population.”
Due to the discovery of the Arakan forest turtles among other endangered turtle species in the elephant sanctuary, preparatory steps for the proper care of the animals are proposed. These include training the staff, taking measures to prevent poaching, and collecting further data on the species.
*Image of the Arakan forest turtle in the wild by the Wildlife Conservation Society is courtesy of LiveScience
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