A frequent theme of my SRMP blogs is how little we know. Usually I find that very uplifting (there will always be a quest for knowledge!), but not in the case of the Burmese Star Tortoise.
Very little is know about the ecology of this endangered tortoise because there are so few to be studied. As of the early 2000s, Burmese Star Tortoises (found only in Myanmar) were believed to be extinct in the wild. Over-harvesting, driven in part by the international pet trade, is largely responsible. Therefore, in 2007, remaining tortoises were captured and brought to special “head-start” facilities to be bred with the hope of one day reestablishing a viable, wild population.
A captive population that started with fewer than 20 tortoises is currently over 8,000 in 4 assurance colonies in Myanmar. And now, conservationists are starting to release these captive-bred tortoises back into the wild; however, before they do, all tortoises need to pass a health check. But how can you tell a turtle is healthy?
Dr. Suzanne Macey and her students Ariana and Michelle are working with a colleague, Dr. Bonnie Raphael, from the Wildlife Conservation Society (aka, the Bronx Zoo), to review the results from pathogen and hematological data that has been collected on these tortoises since 2013. Hematological screening can be used to flag problems like anemia, dehydration, or signs of prolonged infection. Those individual tortoises with immediate poor diagnoses, obviously receive medical treatment. Those that are cleared are considered for release.
Ariana and Michelle are taking a step back and are investigating the health of the captive head-start population as a whole. By analyzing the existing data, they are using statistical models to uncover patterns that can lead to creating better health standards for this poorly understood tortoise. E.g., what is a normal white blood cell count for a healthy tortoise? Do critical thresholds vary with sex or at the different head-start facilities? Vets don’t have this information, but the creation of “wellness” health standards for these tortoises is crucial for their future releases. This is why they need the results of Suzanne, Michelle, and Ariana’s study.
4/5/2017 02:34:59 am
Most Americans are probably not quite sure what mesothelioma is. Many though, can probably associate the word mesothelioma with an attorney or possible litigation. As I flip through the channels on my television set, I too, notice that mesothelioma is frequently mentioned by law firms. However, the focus of this article is to educate the public on what mesothelioma is.
12/6/2017 08:42:48 pm
Tortoises are land-dwelling reptiles that could not swim, not like their counterparts the turtles. They're one of the cutest reptiles I've handled during the time when I was a senior veterinarian in my community. These animals love to eat vegetables, with meat on some occasions. I oftentimes look at its unique pattern on the back of its shell. It is quite mesmerizing to see. I hope more children and adults would appreciate this underrated reptile that roamed the Earth for millions of years.
6/1/2017 05:25:12 am
Turtle is animal and it is special. The expert describes the important information for world wild. Many peoples are working for discoveries of the world and it is good formative for us.
6/16/2017 03:13:21 pm
The costs for health care in the United States are growing by leaps and bounds. Here are 5 practical steps you can take to lower your costs of medical care and coverage.
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10/14/2017 11:36:42 am
Choosing a neutral third party to help with family disagreements means picking someone whom each person can trust. It is important to have a counselor who can give you advice based upon your specific lifestyle, morals and belief system. Therefore, Christian families tend to choose Christian counselors.
11/11/2017 01:15:47 pm
People were injured by the diabetes drug Invokana, many had to have their toes,feet, and legs amputated.We at Consumer Claims Center of America assist people that were injured by Invokana.
1/22/2018 02:21:37 am
In Texas, there is a House Bill that proposes to offer Health Savings Accounts to state workers. However, despite the growing popularity of this tax-advantaged, low-cost option, political opposition is keeping HSA Plans out of reach for state employees.
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