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Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Extinct

Discussion in 'The Library' started by Rich, Mar 11, 2008.

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  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Madagascar's turtles and tortoises, which rank among the most endangered reptiles on earth, will continue to crawl steadily toward extinction unless major conservation measure are enacted, according to a recent assessment by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups.

    The groups, which met for four days in Madagascar's capital city Antananarivo, said there is still hope to save these ancient animals, but time is running out as their habitat continues to shrink and illegal hunting worsens. Five of the nine assessed species have been downgraded to critically endangered, with one variety -- the ploughshare tortoise -- now numbering only a few hundred individuals. The other critically endangered species include the radiated tortoise, flat-tailed tortoise, spider tortoise and Madagascar big-headed turtle, all of which are found nowhere else on earth.

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  2. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    Re: Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Ext

    You know I saw an article once on the extreme live food trade in China and other eastern countries. Many of the foods they served were endangered species, and they had pictures showing just huge tubs filled to the brim with turtles which the article labeled as endangered (I don't think they named the species, though), and it stated that vendors will sometimes go through these huge barrels of animals in only one day.

    From what I've read, in cases like these, this type of practice, and the practice of a person with money saying, "Oooh pretty tortoise! I have to have it!" are really the biggest threat to endangered species. I wonder if there's any way to actually stop this before they eliminate these tortoise and turtle species in Madagascar. We can set up habitats, put the animals on the endangered list, etc., but will it actually stop poachers or save the species?
     
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Ext

    They talk about starting a Turtle Brigade. Think of the cost that would entail. Even if the majority of them were volunteers if would still add up. Human progress it seems will always put wildlife habitat requirements in the backseat. You would think that Madagascar would be one of the leaders in habitat protection considering the diversity of unique wildlife they have. I guess that's the way I've always thought of that area anyway.
    Human progress hmmm is it really in the long run?
     
  4. 904cresteds

    904cresteds Elite Member

    Re: Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Ext

    biggest problem is low grade country's...ther culture's and beliefs! drink the blood of a cobra and you'll get magical powers...which isnt true at all..lol,ppl have to teach these ppl about what they are doing..its all about money and lack of work in there countrys..its hard enough for them to make money and selling endangered animals is there last resort ,just like japan is over hunting whales for tests ..its stupid..,over fishing etc.the more we take and dont give back we will have nothing to take anymore ,ts like going to a bank and everyone is getting a loan..and the bank runs out of money lol

    its really sad
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Ext

    Lets not be too quick to look down our noses at other cultures and "low grade countries!"

    While I may not agree with some of their beleifs and practices, they are their beliefs!
    I once heard it stated that it is very easy for us to speak of conservation and protection of endangered species while we sit in our comfortable homes well fed and safe.
    Its a far different situation when you find yourself standing in a wobbly wooden canoe with your stomach aching from hunger trying to catch enough food to feed your starving children.
     
  6. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    Re: Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Ext

    I agree, but that's not the type of trade I was referring to. This stuff isn't sold for dirt cheap to poor families, it's sold either at outdoor markets along the same price lines as everything else, or to exclusive restaurants where people have to specially request it and it's expensive.

    If it was just a couple of families in their fishing boats trying to get by, they wouldn't be farming them to extinction, I don't think.

    But we shouldn't look down on a country just because they have a different way of looking at the world. While those views play a huge part in why so many endangered species are in demand, it's still just a cultural difference. We do things equally as bad, but for profit rather than superstition. There again, there are some really good things that come out of those lands specifically because of their culture.
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Ext

    You are correct, basic subsistence hunting isn't the real problem,... with one exception.
    It is generally the poor indigeonous people who are used to send out and collect animals. After all they are the ones that know where to look for things and they are paid a trivial amount for their labors. Its the upper end of the business where the big bucks fall.
    A perfect example is the marine fish trade in the Phillipines back in the 70's. The natives were given tools consisting of a squirt bottle and a "Magic Tablet" and told to go out onto the reef and squirt this magic solution into the holes of the reef where the desired fish hid and it would cause them to go to sleep so that they could be easily caught. The natives used this mixture to procure all the fish in a given area. The ones that were desirable to the pet trade were sold to the businessmen and the other fish were used to feed the fishermen's families.
    The "Magic Tablet" was sodium cyanide.
     
  8. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    Re: Madagascar's Tortoises Are Crawling Toward Ext

    Yikes. That makes sense, though.

    It's crazy what people will do to "cash in" on a resource. Even now after years and years of scientist proclaiming that we are rapidly losing plant and animal species, and ruining portions of the Earth, people still don't care. And, gee, look at the fun consequences we're dealing with now.
     
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