The Burmese star tortoise (Geochelone platynota) is near extinction in its native Myanmar (Burma). It lives in the dry, deciduous forest, and is eaten both by the native Burmese, and is traded to the Chinese, where it is sometimes found in the food markets. It is on CITES Appendix II, meaning a permit from the country of export is required. Reportedly, Myanmar has never granted an export permit, meaning most captive-bred tortoises are originally from illegal tortoises, or imports grandfathered in prior to the CITES listing. Yadanabon Zoological Gardens is currently engaged in a captive-breeding program to increase the population of this tortoise.
This tortoise can easily be distinguished from the more common Indian star tortoise by comparing the plastrons of the two species. It is considered critically endangered by the IUCN. One recent expedition searched for the Burmese star for 400 hours with specially trained dogs and five volunteers, and only found five tortoises.
The breeding of the Burmese star tortoise is difficult, and its first successful breeding in captivity was in Taipei Zoo, Taiwan, where a few Burmese star tortoises were hatched in 2003.