Madagascar big-headed turtle

(Erymnochelys madagascariensis)


The Madagascan big-headed turtle (Erymnochelys madagascariensis) is a turtle native to the waters of permanent slow moving rivers and lakes in western Madagascar.These turtles,although they are critically endangered (the 13th most endangered turtle,according to the top 25 most endangered turtles list,issued May 2003)[citation needed],they are commonly eaten for food but they are still commonly shipped from Madagascar to Asia to help meet the demand of Asia's traditional medicine market.A captive breeding program has also been started to prevent the species from becoming extinct.The Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF) intends to raise USD$5.6 million to cover a five-year 'Global Action Plan' which includes captive breeding and reintroduction projects,trade monitoring,new rescue centers,local conservation plans,and educational programs.The Madagascan big-headed turtle is one of the most endangered turtles in the world,and is also included in the Turtle Conservation Funds (TFC) top 25 endangered.It has a hard dark brown shell enclosing all the soft parts of the body and,as its name indicates,a very large head.Young turtles have a soft pattern of fine black lines on their shells,but they disappear with age.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Reptilia
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