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Population status and conservation of the Critically Endangered Burmese Star Tortoise Geochelone platynota in central Myanmar

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2003

Steven G. Platt
Affiliation:
Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, New York, 10460-1099, USA
Win Ko Ko
Affiliation:
Wildlife Conservation Society, Bldg C-1, Aye Yeik Mon 1st Street, Yadanamon Housing Ave., Hlaing Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Lay Lay Khaing
Affiliation:
Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division, Forest Department, Yangon, Myanmar
Khin Myo Myo
Affiliation:
Thaketa Crocodile Farm, Department of Fisheries, Yangon, Myanmar
Thanda Swe
Affiliation:
Department of Zoology, Mandalay University, Mandalay, Myanmar
Tint Lwin
Affiliation:
Yadanabon Zoological Gardens, Mandalay, Myanmar
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Abstract

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The Critically Endangered Burmese star tortoise Geochelone platynota is endemic to the dry zone of central Myanmar. Although quantitative assessments are lacking, populations are believed to be in decline throughout its limited range due to over-collecting for international markets. We conducted star tortoise surveys during 2000–2001 at two sites in central Myanmar: Minzontaung Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected area established in 1998–1999, and Myaleik Taung, an area recently proposed for protected status. G. platynota populations of global conservation significance were found at both sites. Because tortoises are protected by local religious beliefs and commercial collecting is so far non-existent, the Sanctuary and Myaleik Taung offer excellent prospects for star tortoise conservation. The Sanctuary is well patrolled, protected from wildfires, and access is rigorously controlled. Recommended conservation actions at Myaleik Taung include management of livestock grazing, prescribed burning, and elimination of fuelwood cutting.

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Oryx , Volume 37 , Issue 4 , October 2003 , pp. 464 - 471
Copyright
2003 Fauna & Flora International
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Population status and conservation of the Critically Endangered Burmese Star Tortoise Geochelone platynota in central Myanmar
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