Burmese Peacock Softshell Turtles

June 26, 2023


The Burmese peacock softshell turtles, also known as Nilssonia Formosa, have recently hatched in Myanmar, bringing hope for the survival of this critically endangered species. The emergence of the hatchlings from their eggs took place earlier this month, and they made their way to Indawgyi Lake.

Unique Species Found in Myanmar

The Burmese peacock softshell turtles are native to Myanmar and are exclusive to this region. However, scientists have limited knowledge about them, as no proper studies have been conducted.

Collaboration for Conservation

The success in protecting and hatching the turtle eggs can be attributed to the close collaboration with the residents of villages surrounding Indawgyi Lake. To safeguard nesting sites, the wildlife charity provided financial support to lakeshore communities, forming a team of “turtle guardians” who patrol the area. Their efforts included fencing off five turtle nests with approximately 20 eggs each, which led to the recent hatching in June.

Challenges and Threats

Despite the efforts to protect the eggs, the Burmese peacock softshell turtles still face numerous threats. Habitat loss, pollution, climate change, and accidental captures by fishermen pose significant risks to the survival of this species. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, around 40% of all turtle and tortoise species are currently threatened.

Population Decline

Over the past 90 years, the population of Burmese peacock softshell turtles has suffered a substantial decline. Scientists suspect that their numbers may have decreased by at least 80%. This alarming trend underscores the urgent need for conservation efforts to ensure the long-term survival of these unique turtles.

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