A pair of hatchling Ploughshare Tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora) confiscated from poachers on one of our research expeditions to Madagascar. The Turtle Conservancy works closely with Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Madagascar as part of the International Angonoka Working Group. Protecting this Critically Endangered species in the wild is the main focus of our collaboration.
The baby angonoka is at most 3 months old. But don’t be fooled by its tiny size – the ploughshare is the biggest species of tortoise in Madagascar. They can grow up to 50 cm long and males can weigh up to 18 kg! But like all tortoises they have extremely long lifespans and grow very slowly. It will take 15-20 years for this baby to reach maturity.