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Over half of Earth's turtle & tortoise species threatened with extinction, scientists say

On the island of Madagascar, locked gates, razor-wire fences, and 24-hour armed guards protect one of the world’s rarest treasures. That treasure, worth roughly $50,000 each on the black market, is the last wild population of the critically endangered ploughshare tortoise, the rarest tortoise on the planet.

The ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) is emblematic of a growing crisis: more than half of the world’s turtle and tortoise species are now threatened with extinction.

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