The Burmese peacock softshell turtle is one of the most endangered freshwater turtle species on planet Earth. Found in the Indawgyi Lake region of Myanmar, this species has faced an uncertain future due to overhunting and poverty-stricken conditions. That’s why conservation group Flora and Fauna International (FFI) recently launched a breeding program to help protect these beautiful reptiles – with incredible success!
In 2022, FFI worked alongside local volunteers and knowledge keepers to patrol the shores of Indawgyi Lake for potential nesting sites. They eventually found five sites that were fenced off for protection. Local “turtle guardians” were trained by FFI to watch over these areas regularly so that any developments could be monitored closely.
It was during this monitoring process that something truly remarkable happened – 15 hatchlings were born in captivity, making it the first known recording of such an occurrence in the wild! This was a huge victory for FFI who had dedicated years working around Indawgyi Lake to preserve its unique biodiversity. The lake plays home to 160 endemic birds as well as fish, primates, mammals, and more – all vital parts of Myanmar’s ecosystem.
The Burmese peacock softshell turtles are named after their bright orange spots which resemble peacock feathers. Though they are considered a delicacy in Myanmar, they have been hunted excessively due to poverty-stricken conditions across much of the country. The hatching of 15 new individuals is hopefully just one step towards preserving this species for future generations!
FFI’s efforts have been instrumental in helping Indawgyi Lake become designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve back in 2017 – further protecting its rich biodiversity from human activity or destruction. It is hoped that through continued dedication from both locals and conservation groups alike, more will be done to ensure that this incredible species survives long into the future!
Amazing discovery: just-hatched Burmese peacock softshell turtles in Myanmar.
Our team collected the turtles in order to gather vital data on the species. They have since been released into the wild during a small ceremony held in the presence of the community. pic.twitter.com/wSKFJE8kYA
— Fauna & Flora (@FaunaFloraInt) June 14, 2023
Sources: Good News Network