Burmese Star Tortoise (Gechelone Platynota)
IUCN: Red List: Vulnerable
The Burmese Star Tortoise earns its name from the radiating star shaped pattern which radiates throughout its beautifully adorned carapace as well as the fact that it originates from Burma. It is an extremely rare species which has been listed as critically endangered due to the fact that it has been hunted down for food & commercialisation in Chinese markets. They are primarily vegetarian but are known to indulge in insects & larvae for their protein needs.
The Burmese Star Tortoise resides mainly in the edges of the forests of Burma, Myanmar to Moulmein in the South where it is often times dry. The star shaped patterns which it adorns on its dark carapace serves as excellent camouflage in its habitat where it dwells on the forest floor among leave litter and low lying vegetation in the area.
While not much has been studied of the Burmese Star Tortoise, certain observations have been made of its behaviour in the wild. A diurnal species which spends most of its day foraging for food including vegetation, fruit as well as insects in low lying terrain, the Burmese Star Tortoise have been noted to be rather active & personable animals that do not hibernate nor dig burrows. They will however take shade in the shrubs and bushes which surround its low lying environment.
- The breeding of the Burmese star tortoise is difficult, and its first successful breeding in captivity was in Taipei Zoo, Taiwan, where a few Burmese star tortoises were hatched in 2003
- Starting with of 200 tortoises in 2004, by October, 2017, there were 14,000 tortoises in breeding programs and 1000 have been reintroduced into the wild. On the 31st July 2021, Richard Branson announced 2 baby Burmese tortoises were born on his private island Necker Island as part of his ongoing conservation work for the species.
- The Burmese star tortoise is active, smart, personable, and responsive. It’s typically less “shy” and livelier than the Indian star tortoise, but as with all tortoises, each Burmese star has its own personality.
- You can tell the age of a star tortoise by selecting a scute to count. Count the rings on the scutes; the rings will alternate between narrow rings of one color to the wider ring of another color. Time to estimate the turtle’s age.
Fruits & Vegetables
|Size:||Up to 30cm|
|Weight:||Up to 20kg|
|Lifespan:||Up to 5Oyears|