Video Village des tortues , ONG , Mangily-Ifaty , WWF Youth Volunteer programme , Madagascar :

The village des tortues is about half an hour away from Toliara ( if you go by car , it’s an hour and a half if you go by Taxi brousse ) . It is owned by a French NGO ( SOPTOM , who also created Gonfaron in the Var in France ) . The village des tortues runs a breeding and conservation programme with endangered tortoises and turtles . When we went to visit the village our guide informed us that they had new spider tortoises (Pyxis arachnoides ) also known locally as Kapila that were seized from a taxi brousse . The Spider Tortoise is found only in the coastal areas of southwestern Madagascar, from the coast up to 10-50 kilometres inland going as far north as Morombe . This small Madagascar chelonian with a carapace of only fifteen centimeters is currently listed as critically endangered . Turtles and tortoises (Radiated Tortoises have been collected in the past by Asian smugglers for their livers and to be sold as pets ) in Madagascar are sold on the black market as food ( bush meat , the eggs are also sold as food ) or as pets . The burning of wood for charcoal and hatsake ( slash and burn agriculture ) is a major threat for the spiny forest biome . WWF has been doing  a lot of aerial surveillance to fight against deforestation . Aerial imagery has shown that deforestation rates are significantly higher over the last five years ( in some areas you can see a dramatic change in the landscape in just a year , especially areas where people do a lot of hatsake ) Even though there’s a ban on those practices ( both of those species are protected nationally under Malagasy law ) the turles and tortoises are still being caught by thousands . Image.