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16 December 2021 BURMESE ROOFED TURTLE (BATAGUR TRIVITTATA) DISEASE SCREENING IN MYANMAR
Paul P. Calle, Bonnie L. Raphael, Tint Lwin, Karen D. Ingerman, Angela Perry, Brittany Motkowicz, Ania Tomaszewicz Brown, Brian D. Horne, Tylis Y. Chang, Adeline Seah, Steven G. Platt, Kalyar Platt, Tracie A. Seimon
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Abstract

The Burmese roofed turtle (Batagur trivittata), a critically endangered freshwater turtle, is endemic to Myanmar. Once thought to be extinct, remnant wild populations were discovered in 2001 and limited captive individuals identified in pagoda ponds or confiscated from fishers in Myanmar. These and their offspring are maintained in five facilities in Myanmar and form the basis of a conservation program (habitat protection, captive breeding, nest protection, egg collection, head-starting, and release). Prerelease health screenings were performed in 2014 and 2018 at Yadanabon Zoological Gardens, a head-starting facility in Limpha Village, and Lawkanandar Wildlife Park. One hundred forty-three turtles were assessed (37 male, 50 female, 56 juveniles [too young to determine sex]; two females were assessed in both years), age range of 1 to 12 y (one unknown age adult founder), and body mass range of 0.111 to 32.72 kg. Health evaluations both years included physical examination and combined choanal/cloacal swab samples for polymerase chain reaction testing of the potential chelonian pathogens intranuclear coccidia, Mycoplasma, Herpesvirus, Ranavirus, and Adenovirus (not all tests performed each year). In 2018, cloacal swabs from 30 and 20 turtles at the Yadanabon Zoological Gardens and Lawkanandar Wildlife Park, respectively, were cultured for Salmonella. All turtles were assessed as healthy based on normal physical examination findings, and all had negative test results. Prerelease health screening, such as performed in this study, is an important component of release, reintroduction, and translocation projects to prevent introduction of novel pathogens into naïve wild populations.

Copyright 2021 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Paul P. Calle, Bonnie L. Raphael, Tint Lwin, Karen D. Ingerman, Angela Perry, Brittany Motkowicz, Ania Tomaszewicz Brown, Brian D. Horne, Tylis Y. Chang, Adeline Seah, Steven G. Platt, Kalyar Platt, and Tracie A. Seimon "BURMESE ROOFED TURTLE (BATAGUR TRIVITTATA) DISEASE SCREENING IN MYANMAR," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 52(4), 1270-1274, (16 December 2021). https://doi.org/10.1638/2021-0017
Accepted: 25 July 2021; Published: 16 December 2021
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