Myanmar releases endangered turtles into Chindwin River

Conservationists have begun reintroducing a critically endangered turtle species in its original habitat in the upper Chindwin River.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) said it has begun the “soft release” of 40 rare Burmese roofed turtles near Linpha village in Hkamti township in Sagaing Region.

Burmese roofed turtles are found only in Myanmar. They are herbivorous and used to be found in the Ayeyarwady, Chindwin and Sittaung rivers, including larger tributaries. Now they are restricted to the Chindwin in Sagaing. 

One conservationist said the turtles will be kept on a raft on the river for up to eight months before being released in the river to fend for themselves.

A WCS official said, “They don’t know how to survive in their natural environment, and this soft-release period will help them.”