Currently, it's estimated that only ten female adult Burmese roofed turtles remain in the world. WCS is protecting nearly 600 juveniles through our headstarting program.
In Latin America and Asia, WCS works to conserve five giant river turtle species, among the most endangered turtles on the planet. These include the Magdalena river turtle, the Central American river turtle, the Amazonian giant river turtle, the Burmese roofed turtle, and the Southern River terrapin.
Greatly hunted for their meat and eggs, these species' troubles are exacerbated by their life histories. They are very long lived and their populations are dependent on females laying eggs for many years, perhaps decades. When hunters remove adult breeding females it has the effect of removing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of hatchlings from the next generation of the species. This can quickly lead to large population declines.
In partnership with local communities, WCS aims to develop conservation programs that reduce hunting of both adults and the harvesting of eggs.
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