Project Angonoka, started in 1986, is a collaborative enterprise between Water and Forests Department and Durrell Wildlife.
As one of the most threatened tortoises in the world, Geochelone yniphora , the ploughshare, is only found around Baly Bay, W. Madagascar, in less than 66km2.
There are five wild populations known, with a total population size of 440- 770 individuals.
Devastated in the past as food for maritime consumption, burning is the now the main menace. Tortoise habitat, which is surrounded by savannah, is regularly burnt to create new herb growth for domestic cattle and tortoises are burnt in the process. Illegal collection for the international pet trade also poses a major threat. The species is protected under national law and is also classed at Annexe 1 under CITES.
Project Angonoka, started in 1986, is a collaborative enterprise between Water and Forests Department and Durrell Wildlife. The project has been supported by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The aim of the project is to safeguard G. yniphora through active conservation of the remaining wild populations, working in conjunction with the local communities of the area. The project also entails the creation of new populations of the species by the re-introduction of captive bred animals managed by Durrell Wildlife in Madagascar. The captive-breeding project has been most successful and by December 2004, the project had 224 captive-bred juveniles. The project describes the establishment of the captive breeding group and reintroduction.