The rarest animal I’ve ever found was the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis). Only around 20 of them are in the wild. But that’s a subspecies of leopards. In terms of a full species, this is the rarest one in my experience.
Let me introduce the most endangered species I’ve ever found in the wild – the Ploughshare Tortoise of Madagascar.
It is also called Angonoka tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora).
Those big organizations will only tell you about the tigers, rhinos, marine mammals, etc. Probably it’s all about marketing which I have zero idea about.
Let me do something for this species which is TONS more endangered. Help me share this and spread the love before it goes extinct which could happen tomorrow or any day.
If you know of anyone on earth who’s ever seen one of these tortoises in the wild, definitely let me know!
Did you know that sea turtles would come to Hong Kong?
There are 7 species of sea turtles in the world, and surprisingly all of them have been spotted in Hong Kong waters. How amazing!
Our most frequent visitor is the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). Young turtles are carnivores, preying on crabs, shrimps, jellyfish, and squid. Adults are herbivores, feeding on seaweed.
It is an endangered species, but can be found in all tropical oceans around the world including Hong Kong. They even came ashore! Sham Wan in Lamma Island has a small population known to nest on a regular basis. Only 2 records of nesting outside Lamma Island: Once in Big Wave Bay Beach, Shek O in 2000. Another time in another big wave bay, Tai Long Wan Beach, Sai Kung in 2006.
Oh! Those mama turtles must be surfers. They love big waves!
The Chinese three-striped box turtle (Cuora trifasciata), or better known as Golden coin turtle in Chinese, used to be very common when I was a kid which I refuse to provide the number of years ago. However, now it has become critically endangered due to habitat destruction and poaching.
This species is now very rare but widely distributed in a few localities in Hong Kong and southern China. I have only found a few of them in mountain streams throughout the years.
Unlike most turtles, this is a nocturnal species. It hides very well during the day. It can grow up to 20 cm. As a carnivore, it feeds on insects, fish, frogs, crabs, and snails.
The plastron (bottom shell) is what makes this turtle special. There is a hinge in the middle, to allow complete closure of the shell. That’s why they are called box turtles. But the plastron is also the reason why they got killed by humans to make a Chinese medicine called “turtle jelly”.