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Turtles on the Brink in Madagascar:
Proceedings of Two Workshops on the Status, Conservation, and Biology
of Malagasy Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles

Christina M. Castellano, Anders G.J. Rhodin, Michael Ogle, Russell A. Mittermeier,
Herilala Randriamahazo, Rick Hudson, and Richard E. Lewis, Eds.

Chelonian Research Monographs (ISSN 1088-7105) No. 6
doi: 10.3854/crm.6 • © 2013 by Chelonian Research Foundation
Lunenburg, MA, USA • Published Online 30 October 2013

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Front Cover, Frontispiece, and Table of Contents

Contributing Authors



Introduction: Turtles on the Brink in Madagascar.
Christina M. Castellano, Anders G.J. Rhodin, Michael Ogle,
Russell A. Mittermeier, Herilala Randriamahazo, Rick Hudson, and Richard E. Lewis    11

Madagascar: island continent of tortoises great and small.
Peter C.H. Pritchard.    17

The tortoises and freshwater turtles of Madagascar in the context of biodiversity conservation
in the Madagascar Hotspot.

Russell A. Mittermeier, Peter Paul van Dijk, Anders G.J. Rhodin, and Stephen D. Nash.    25


Turtles on the Brink in Madagascar: an IUCN Red Listing assessment workshop.
Peter Paul van Dijk, Thomas E.J. Leuteritz, Anders G.J. Rhodin,
Russell A. Mittermeier, and Herilala Randriamahazo.    33

Vision sokatra gasy—Madagascar turtle vision.
(Reprint from 2008 Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter)
Russell A. Mittermeier, Anders G.J. Rhodin, Herilala Randriamahazo, Richard E. Lewis,
Peter  Paul van Dijk, Rick Hudson, and Sébastien Rioux Paquette.    37

Madagascar turtles and tortoises in CITES.
Thomas E.J. Leuteritz and Peter Paul van Dijk.    40

(Reprints from 2008 IUCN Red List, iucnredlist.org)

Astrochelys radiata. Thomas E.J. Leuteritz and Sébastien Rioux Paquette    44

Astrochelys yniphora. Thomas E.J. Leuteritz and Miguel Pedrono    47

Pyxis arachnoides. Thomas E.J. Leuteritz and Ryan C.J. Walker    50

Pyxis planicauda. Thomas E.J. Leuteritz, Herilala Randriamahazo, and Richard E. Lewis    53

Erymnochelys madagascariensis. Thomas E.J. Leuteritz, Gerald Kuchling,
Gerardo Garcia, and Juliette Velosoa    56


Overview of the natural history of Madagascar’s endemic tortoises and freshwater turtles:
essential components for effective conservation.

Miguel Pedrono and Lora L. Smith.    59

Troubled times for the Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata).
Rick Hudson.    67

Long-term monitoring and impacts of human harvest on the Radiated Tortoise
(Astrochelys radiata).

Christina M. Castellano, J. Sean Doody, Riana Rakotondrainy,
William Ronto Mananjara, Tantelinirina Rakotondriamanga,
Julio Duchene, and Zigzag Randria.    75

Decline in the range and population density of Radiated Tortoises, Astrochelys radiata, in
southern Madagascar.

Tsilavo H. Rafeliarisoa, Ryan C.J. Walker, and Edward E. Louis, Jr.    86

The SOKAKE Project: conservation of Astrochelys radiata in southern Madagascar.
Bernard Devaux.    93

Community outreach and education promoting the conservation of the Radiated Tortoise,
Astrochelys radiata, in Lavavolo, Madagascar.

Susie McGuire, Tsilavo H. Rafeliarisoa, Herilalaina Randriamanantenasoa,
Veloarivony R.A. Randrianindrina, Gary D. Shore, and Edward E. Louis, Jr.    97

Sexual dimorphism in Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata).
Thomas E.J. Leuteritz and Donald T. Gantz.    105

Endoscopic imaging of gonads, sex ratio, and temperature-dependent sex determination in
juvenile captive-bred Radiated Tortoises, Astrochelys radiata.

Gerald Kuchling, Eric V. Goode, and Peter Praschag.    113

Do bigger females produce bigger eggs? The influence of female body mass on egg mass
in Astrochelys radiata.

Jutta M. Hammer.    119

Illegal poaching of Radiated Tortoises, Astrochelys radiata, in arid southern Madagascar:
contributing factors, conservation initiatives, critical challenges, and potential solutions.

Tiana A. Ramahaleo and Malika Virah-Sawmy.    124

Repatriated Malagasy tortoises contribute to their survival.
Léon A. Razafindrakoto.    132

Conservation of the Madagascar Spider Tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) amid changing land
use policy: assessing the spatial coincidence of relict populations with protected areas and
mining concessions.

Ryan C.J. Walker, Charlie J. Gardner, Tsilavo H. Rafeliarisoa, Inge Smith,
Richard Razafimanatsoa, and Edward E. Louis, Jr.    135

Ecological husbandry and reproduction of the Madagascar Spider (Pyxis arachnoides)
and Flat-tailed (Pyxis planicauda) Tortoises.

Daniel W. Pearson.    146

Proposed action plan for the conservation of the Madagascar Spider Tortoise,
Pyxis arachnoides.

Ryan C.J. Walker, Christina M. Castellano, Michael Ogle, Tsilavo H. Rafeliarisoa,
Riana Rakotondrainy, Tiana A. Ramahaleo, Herilala Randriamahazo,
and Charlie J. Gardner.    153

Conservation of the Angonoka (Ploughshare Tortoise), Astrochelys yniphora.
A. Ross Kiester, Angelo R. Mandimbihasina, Richard E. Lewis, Eric V. Goode,
James O. Juvik, Richard Young, and Torsten Blanck.    162
Erratum (published 7 November 2013)

An integrated research, management, and community conservation program for the Rere
(Madagascar Big-headed Turtle), Erymnochelys madagascariensis.

Juliette Velosoa, Lance Woolaver, Randriamahita, Ernest Bekarany,
Floriot Randrianarimangason, Richard Mozavelo, Gerardo Garcia, and Richard E. Lewis.    171

Tortoise breeding and ‘re-wilding’ on Rodrigues Island.
Owen Griffiths, Aurele Andre, and Arnaud Meunier.    178


Ancient chelonians.
(Reprint from 1999 Chelonian Conservation and Biology)
Anders G.J. Rhodin.    184

Inside Back and Back Cover