Defacing the world's rarest tortoises

2011 marks 25 years of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust's work in Madagascar to save native species, including the Critically Endangered ploughshare tortoise.

But with the explosive growth in demand for pet tortoises from Asia, the ploughshares' former safe haven of Baly Bay National Park is under increasing threat from poachers.

Richard Lewis is director of Durrell's Madagascar programme. Here he speaks about how the team and the local villagers are working to protect the world's rarest tortoise. This includes the drastic measure of "defacing" the beautiful shells in order to make the animals worthless on the black market.

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Photography courtesy of Durrell Conservation Trust and TRAFFIC.

Music courtesy of World Music Network and KPM Music.

Audio by Hannah McNeish. Slideshow production by Ella Davies.

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