The groups, which met for four days in Madagascar’s capital city Antananarivo, said there is still hope to save these ancient animals, but time is running out as their habitat continues to shrink and illegal hunting worsens.
Five of the nine assessed species have been downgraded to critically endangered, with one variety – the ploughshare tortoise – now numbering only a few hundred individuals. The other critically endangered species include the radiated tortoise, flat-tailed tortoise, spider tortoise and Madagascar big-headed turtle, all of which are found nowhere else on earth.
“Madagascar’s ancient tortoises and turtles are marching toward extinction unless an all-out effort is made to protect these living national treasures,” said Dr. James Deutsch, director for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Africa programs. “The good news is that there’s still time to save Madagascar’s tortoises and turtles from extinction, and we know how to tackle the issues.”
The workshop participants concluded that illegal trade continues to be the largest single threat for several of critically endangered species. Ploughshare, spider and flat-tailed tortoises, along with juvenile radiated tortoises, are particularly coveted by collectors and traded as pets on the international black market. Meanwhile, adult radiated tortoises are sold for food in regional markets in Tuléar and Fort-Dauphin.
In order to combat these illegal activities, the workshop participants recommended the creation of a “tortoise brigade” to monitor and control illegal trade. Confiscated tortoises could be repatriated to areas where populations had been decimated by illegal trade, and with subsequent enforcement eco-tourism opportunities could follow.
Moreso, the participants recognized that Madagascar’s traditions that once protected tortoises needed to be revitalized. Therefore, working with local people was identified as an essential component of any future conservation effort. The groups went onto say that more survey work was needed to identify unprotected tortoise populations, as well as increased captive breeding and reintroduction efforts.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates field projects throughout the island nation, will open Madagascar! on June 19th – a new exhibit at its Bronx Zoo headquarters that showcases the country’s amazing biodiversity including radiated and spider tortoises. The exhibit will also be a state-of-the-art energy efficient, green building, and the first land-marked building in New York to receive a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification.
Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon
09.12.2016 | Wildlife Conservation Society
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine