Meet The Angonoka (Ploughshare) Tortoise Before It’s Too Late
The angonoka tortoise is a small land turtle that can only be found in a 60 square kilometer range on the island of Madagascar. Its beautiful high-domed shell is one of the things that has lead to this animal’s endangered species status due to poaching.
This peaceful creature eats mostly plants and shrubs and can live to be anywhere from 50 to 100 years old. Despite their long life span they are unable to replenish their population rapidly enough to save themselves from extinction because this tortoise doesn’t become sexually mature for 20 years. Once old enough to mate, this reptile lays and buries clutches of eggs which are left unattended to hatch and live independently, leaving them vulnerable to predators. Despite efforts from zoos and conservation centers, this species has a bleak outlook of dying off within the next 10 years.
Besides being poached for their pretty shells, the tortoise eggs get eaten by a predator known as a brush pig that was introduced to the area by humans, disrupting the delicate balance of the food chain on the small island. Illegal global pet trades also lead to the theft of these little guys from their natural environment and from conservation centers.
You can help at-risk species by not consuming animal products for food, clothings or other materials and encouraging people not to support the illegal exotic pet trades.