I really wanted to get a tortoise for a long time. After a bunch of research, and lots of wandering around the internet and Youtube, I settled on the Burmese Star as a species I wanted to work with. They are a dry grassland species, which works well with the area I live in. They don't get particularly large, eat grasses and weeds that are easy to come by, and their overall care is not particularly intense.
More importantly, they are species that is need of captive breeding.
Functionally extinct in the wild because of the Chinese food and traditional medicine trade combined with Myanmar having a dysfunctional government, Burmese Stars are in need of captive breeding to prevent total extinction.
Burmese Stars have not been imported as pets into the US in decades, so what animals we have in the US are all we have. The good news is the species is being bred very successfully by both professional zoos and captive breeders alike. The more common they become the more likely the species will survive. They are a species I feel is worth the time and effort to breed and care for.
I picked up a temperature sexed male and female pair with unrelated parents from Chris Leon of Garden State Reptiles. So far they have been highly entertaining, incredibly interesting little guys. Talk about a long term breeding project: it will be 5-7 years before I can even attempt breeding them.