“Endangered Arakan Forest turtles found”

Never giving up the hope of finding some alive, scientists acting like Indiana Jones have found a nest of the elusive endangered Arakan Forest Turtles (Heosemys depressa).

Traveling by small boat through the remote backwaters of the river that cut through the thick forested area of Vietnamese Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary, turtle conservationists beheld a beautiful site . After enduring severe hardship, including round-the-clock torrential rains and bands of leeches covering their bodies, the scientists found “turtle gold.

Critically endangered Akaran Forest turtle found

Critically endangered Arakan Forest turtle found

They discovered a nest of five rare brown-and-tan-spotted turtles living in the wilds in the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary in amongst thick stands of impenetrable bamboo forests.

When they spotted the turtles all the hardships they endured

disappeared in the euphoria of the moment.

The carapace or top shell of this medium-sized turtle is light brown, with some individuals exhibiting black mottling or a black border, and the shell edge is distinctly toothed or jagged at the back. The bottom shell or plastron is yellow to tan in color and is marked with dark brown to black blotches or radiating streaks on each raised plate or scute on its carapace. The head color is grey to brown, and the soft skin of the neck, limbs and tail is pale yellowish-brown. On its legs, there are the large nearly black scales. The claws are large and strong, with half-webbed toes on the front legs and only webbing at the bottom of the toes on the hind legs.

Scientists knew of only four of these turtles in all of Vietnam before the discovery of this precious nest. It gives cause for hope that maybe this species can survive.

The near-disappearance of these turtles is due to Asians using the turtle meat as an ingredient in cooking and medicine.

There is hope if we leave nature alone.

Left alone these extremely rare turtles hopefully are on the rebound in Myanmar. Now we must do what we can to protect the remaining population.

Thank you for your dedicated efforts and research that can help preserve this species for generations to come. -Nature’s Crusaders

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://boston.com/turtle thought to be extinct spotted in myanmar

Excerpts courtesy of http://www.dcsp.org/COP12-d.html

Image courtesy of http://www.turtlesurvival.org/news/update-from-myanmar


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