Burmese star tortoise - Wikipedia

Burmese star tortoise
Geochelone platynota by OpenCage.jpg
At Sunshine International Aquarium, Japan
CITES Appendix I (CITES)[2]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Testudines
Suborder: Cryptodira
Superfamily: Testudinoidea
Family: Testudinidae
Genus: Geochelone
G. platynota
Binomial name
Geochelone platynota
(Blyth, 1863)
  • Testudo platynota Blyth, 1863
  • Peltastes platynotus Gray, 1870
  • Testudo platinota Bourret, 1941 (ex errore)
  • Testudo platynotus Bourret, 1941
  • Geochelone platynota Loveridge & Williams, 1957
  • Geochelone elegans platynota Obst, 1985
  • Geochelone platynotata Paull, 1997 (ex errore)

The Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) is a critically endangered tortoise species, native to the dry, deciduous forests of Myanmar (Burma). It is close to extinction in Myanmar, as it is eaten by[citation needed] the native Burmese.


The Burmese star tortoise has radiating star-shaped patterns on its strongly domed carapace. It has bumps on its shell that look like stars. This tortoise can easily be distinguished from the more common Indian star tortoise by comparing the plastrons of the two species.[4]


The Burmese star tortoise is considered critically endangered by the IUCN. However it is still commonly eaten and is exported to food markets in neighbouring China. One recent expedition in Burma searched for the species in its habitat for 400 hours with specially trained dogs and five volunteers, and only found five tortoises.[citation needed]

It is on CITES Appendix I, commercial trade in wild-caught specimens is illegal (permitted only in exceptional licensed circumstances). Reportedly, Myanmar has never granted an export permit, meaning most captive-bred tortoises are originally from illegal tortoises, or imports grandfathered in prior to the CITES listing.[5]

Captive breeding[edit]

The breeding of the Burmese star tortoise is difficult, and its first successful breeding in captivity was in Taipei Zoo, Taiwan, where a few Burmese star tortoises were hatched in 2003.[6]

Yadanabon Zoological Gardens is also currently engaged in a captive-breeding program to attempt to increase the population of this tortoise.

Starting with 200 tortoises in 2004, by October 2017, there were 14,000 tortoises in breeding programs and 1000 have been reintroduced into the wild. On 31 July 2021, Richard Branson announced two baby Burmese star tortoises were born on his private island, Necker Island, as part of his ongoing conservation work for the species. [7]


  1. ^ Praschag, P.; Platt, K.; Horne, B.D. (2020). "Geochelone platynota". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T9013A123815185. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T9013A123815185.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Appendices | CITES". cites.org. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ Fritz Uwe; Peter Havaš (2007). "Checklist of Chelonians of the World" (PDF). Vertebrate Zoology. 57 (2): 279. ISSN 1864-5755. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-01. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Burmese starred tortoise videos, photos and facts - Geochelone platynota | ARKive". Archived from the original on 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  5. ^ "By Species | Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)". Archived from the original on 2015-03-08. Retrieved 2014-04-22.
  6. ^ "送緬甸星龜回緬甸-2003臺北動物園全球首度成功繁殖". Taipei Zoo (in Chinese (Taiwan)). 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2018-09-27.
  7. ^ Burmese star tortoise

External links[edit]