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ATP documents, general resources, and useful websites

A wide range of documents on ATP's activities, as well as news and general resources on tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation and links to useful websites:

Asian Turtle Program PDF Downloads

2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

 

marine turtle release in Quang Ninh

9th August 2017 - 41 more endangered turtles arrived at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam

On the morning of 4th August 2017, Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre (WRC) contacted the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam, to ask for the TCC agreement on receiving 41 turtles including 36 endangered Elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) and 5 critically endangered Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons). Following a rescue trip these turtles are now being cared for in the quarantine station at the TCC.

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marine turtle release in Quang Ninh

3rd August 2017 - Marine turtle released with a message from local officials in Quang Ninh, northern Vietnam

On the morning of 1st of August 2017, one juvenile Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was released back to the sea by Mr. Dong, the new chairman of Quang Duc commune, Hai Ha district, Quang Ninh province. Reportedly, Mr. Dong had purchased this turtle from a local trader then contacted Hai Ha district ranger station to transfer the turtle for rescue and release. However, as there is no rescue centre available for marine turtles in Vietnam, the decision was made to quickly release the turtle back into the wild.

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Pu Mat turtle rescue

27th July 2017 - 38 endangered turtles arrived at Pu Mat Rescue Centre, Nghe An Province, Vietnam

On the 26th of July 2017, the Wildlife Rescue Centre of Pu Mat National Park has received 38 turtles of three different species, including 26 Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), 11 four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata), and one Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii). Reportedly, these turtles were purchased by a single local trader from various locations. The species are all locally occurring in Pu Mat National Park but animals many also have come from other locations such as neighbouring Laos.

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marine turtle

17th July 2017 - Two marine turtles are removed from the Endangered species list

Recently we were very pleased to see the positive change on the conservation status of some marine turtle species on the 2017 IUCN Red list website (www.iucnredlist.org). It appears the tireless efforts for sea turtle conservation over the past few decades are starting to have an impact.

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TFT release call

June 2017 - Support the release of endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles in Vietnam

We have some groups of turtles who have gone through the quarantine period and have legal cases closed meaning they are cleared for release. On the 8th of June we made the first release of 30 Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii). But we have hundred more that need to be prepared for release. We need to transport staff and animals to suitable release sites deep in the forest at a number of protected areas. All animals will require basic health screening for parasites and will be implanted with a microchip identification number (PIT tag). 

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turtle transfer to Pu Mat NP

30th May 2017 - 11 turtles rescued to Pu Mat Rescue Centre, Nghe An Province, Vietnam

Last weekend, on the 28th of May 2017, Vinh city Environmental Police of Nghe An province, Vietnam, made a confiscation of 11 turtles including eight Oldham's leaf turtle (Cyclemys oldhamii), two Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) and one Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) as well as a single Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica). These animals were reportedly being transported on a bus from Quang Binh province to Nghe An in the illegal wildlife trade.  

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Cuora mouhotii

30th May 2017 - Seven endangered Keeled box turtle handed into the Asian Turtle Program office in Hanoi

Last Friday, the 26th of May 2017, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) office in Hanoi, Vietnam, received seven endangered Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii) handed over from one pet owner who bought these animals three months ago. This is the single largest number we have had transferred from a single individual. The office does frequently receive animals from the pet trade when they either become sick or people realise they are much more difficult to keep as pets than they thought.

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Dong Mo fish release

22nd May 2017 - Native fish species released at Dong Mo Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

Last Friday, the 19th of May 2017, Hanoi Fishery Department (FD) held the first ever meeting on the releasing of native fish species into Dong Mo Lake. The meeting, "Releasing fish to restore native fishery resources" was held to coincide with the traditional annual event to release fish stock into Dong Mo Lake on the outskirts of Hanoi, Vietnam. The event brought together more than 120 leaders and representatives from 20 FDs from 20 Northern provinces of Vietnam to release approx. 500kg of three native fish species into Dong Mo Lake.

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boat race

18th May 2017 - Third boat race organised in support of the world rarest freshwater turtle.

On the 18th of May 2017, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) worked in collaboration with Hanoi Fishery Department and Kim Son Commune Youth Union to organise the third Dong Mo boat race in Son Tay district, Hanoi, Vietnam. The race was to support conservation of the world's rarest turtle, the Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei).

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turtle rescue in Da Nang

15th May 2017 - Confiscation of critically endangered box turtle in Da Nang, central Vietnam

On the 8th of May 2017, rangers in Da Nang city, central Vietnam, made a confiscation of 25 turtles including 13 critically endangered Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti), eight critically endangered Southern Viet Nam Box Turtle (Cuora picturata), and four endangered Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii). Reportedly, the animals were confiscated as a result of a cooperative work between the Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV – Vietnam) and Da Nang authorities in the fight against illegal wildlife trade on Facebook.

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Phong Nha - Ke Bang field survey

25th April 2017 - Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park field survey - Vietnam

With a focus on confirm these endangered, highly threatened turtles in the wild, with a focus on the intergrades of the populations in Quang Binh province, a field survey was undertaken in March 2017 by the ATP.  The survey was carried out over eight in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park with more than 50 species of herpetofauna recorded. The team found one juvenile critically endangered Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons).

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Lang Son turtle rescue

14th April 2017 - 11 endangered Keeled box turtles arrived at the Turtle Conservation Centre, Vietnam

On the 14th of April 2017, our rescue team has made another trip to Lang Son province, near the border with China, on a mission to rescue 11 endangered Keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii) which were confiscated by Lang Son Forest Protection Depart Mobile team two night ago. Reportedly, these turtles were being transported illegally by a man who lives in Van Quan district, Lang Son province who has been fined 6 million VND (approx. 300USD) for purchasing and transporting illegal wildlife.

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Four-eyed turtle

12th April 2017 - At the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), the Four-eyed Turtles are nesting in preparation for Easter.

Within the last month staff at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam, have been inspecting the enclosures daily for the arrival of new eggs. As the weather warms up most of the species are now laying and most recently since the 20th of March 2017 the team have found 8 clutches with 22 eggs of the endangered Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata).

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Bac Giang turtle rescue

4th April 2017 - First rescue of turtles to the Turtle Conservation Centre in 2017

Following a confiscation of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles (TFT) seizure in Bac Giang province, northern Vietnam, last week, the ATP and TCC team are making the first rescue of 2017 today. The Bac Giang city ranger station have been caring for these animals over the past week while the case has been processed and now all animals identified as illegal, are to be transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) at Cuc Phuong National Park.

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Student training

22nd March 2017 - 13th tortoise and freshwater turtle field skill training course in Vietnam

From the 11th to 18th March 2017, 11 students from seven Vietnamese universities (including one Laotian student studying in Vietnam) gathered at Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh province, northern Vietnam to take part in the 13th Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle (TFT) Field Skill Training Course. The 8-day long training has been hosted by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) in collaboration with Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park since 2005.

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Captive management training

7th March 2017 - Training to improve captive management skills for tortoises and freshwater turtles in Vietnam's rescue centres

From the 03rd to 06th March 2017, six keepers and veterinary staff from three rescue centres (including the Center for Rescue and Conservative Organism (CRCO) of Hoang Lien National Park; Me Linh Biodiversity Station of the Institute Of Ecology And Biological Resources (IEBR) and the Wildlife Rescue Centre of Pu Mat National Park) in Vietnam gathered in Cuc Phuong National Park to take part in the three-day long Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle (TFT) Captive Management Skill Training Course.

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GM motor support

6th March 2017 - General Motors Vietnam (GMVN) supporting turtle conservation in Vietnam

On the 4th March 2017, over 30 staff from General Motors Vietnam (GMVN) came to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam, to spend one-day learning about the tortoises and freshwater turtles of Vietnam with an introduction to turtle ecology and some information on the threats and need for conservation. The General Motor Vietnam team then worked closely with the TCC keepers to help with some daily tasks at the centre, building turtle snags, changing water for the aquatic species and preparing the turtle diets for feeding.

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Cuora galbinifrons

March 2017 - An Indochinese Box Turtle enjoys a soak at the Turtle Conservation Centre Vietnam

An Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) enjoys a soak in the stream enclosure as spring warms up at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam. The Asian Turtle Program (ATP) and the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) always need helps with support of the rescue and care of animals at the centre.

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2017 Dong Mo football

February 2017 - The 'Dong Mo Football Cup' organised to support conservation of the world’s rarest turtle 

From 31st of January to the 09th of February 2017, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) in collaboration with Kim Son Commune Youth Union organised the fifth football event to promote conservation of the world’s rarest turtle, the Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei).

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waterfall construction

January 2017 - A time lapse video of construction of waterfall enclosures for the Big-headed Turtle in Vietnam

In Cuc Phuong National Park in northern Vietnam we have been working to build some outdoor waterfall enclosures for the endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum). The species needs cool, flowing, fresh water to survive, but being highly aggressive they cannot be kept in groups. With almost 200 of the species rescued from the wildlife trade since 2015, many with serious injuries, the centre has been able to recover about 75% of these animals. Now we hope to keep a small group at the centre for research and breeding and in spring of 2017 we want to release most of these animals back to the wild.

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waterfall construction

January 2017 - The Turtle Conservation Centre Mannaquin challenge Vietnam 2016

A day in the life of the Turtle Conservation Centre of Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam where we are constantly working hard to care for endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles rescued from the wildlife trade.

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Rafetus photo
TFT National Workshop

5th December 2016 - National Workshop to develop a Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Plan for Vietnam

From the 28th - 29th of November 2016 a workshop was held in Cuc Phuong commune, Ninh Binh province to develop a 'National Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation Plan to 2025, with a vision to 2030. The workshop was co-hosted by the Biodiversity Conservation Agency (BCA) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MoNRE) and the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC).

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muaremys sinensis

November 2016 - A Chinese Stripe-neck Turtle to join the breeding group at Cuc Phuong National Park's Turtle Conservation Centre

On the 21st of October 2016, a man named Minh contacted the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) in Hanoi to find a solution for an unexpected guest. Minh had been walking home in the busy Dinh Cong ward, Hoang Mai district, Hanoi, Vietnam. Not the place you would usually expect to find much wildlife, when he found a Chinese Stripe-neck Turtle (Mauremys sinensis). Listed as Endangered on IUCN Red List 2016. On the 22nd of October 2016 the turtle was brought to the ATP Hanoi office. 

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turtle confisction in Quang Ninh

9th November 2016 - Largest confiscation of endangered big-headed turtles in Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam

On the 05th November 2016, Economic police of Quang Ninh province, near the border with China in northern Vietnam, confiscated 105 big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) and 149 Sunda pangolins (Manis javanica) weighing 738kg in total along with 172kg of pangolin scales (unidentified species). The shipment was being illegally transported in a refrigerated truck (number plate 92C-09397) from Quang Nam province to Mong Cai border gate. An initial investigation revealed that these animals were loaded in Nghe An and Ha Tinh province in central Vietnam.

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turtle confisction in Ha Nam

25th October 2016 - Impressed Tortoise Released in Dak Nong Nature Reserve, Vietnam

On the 20th of October, 2016, Mr. Ngan Suon Hung, residing at Gia Nghia Town, Dak Nong province contacted the ATP through its Facebook page messenger regarding handing in one juvenile endangered impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa) for conservation. Mr. Hung had bought the animal from a local hunter three days ago in his home town. Due to the distance from Dak Nong to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park it was unrealistic to transfer the animal. Guidance was given on how to take care of this sensitive species in terms of food and diet and other basic needs while the ATP sought a suitable solution. 

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turtle confisction in Ha Nam

24th October 2016 - Confiscation of endangered box turtles in Ha Nam province, Vietnam

On the 20th of October, 2016, the Police of Duy Tien district, Ha Nam province, south of Hanoi confiscated four critically endangered Indochinese box turtles (Cuora galbinifrons), two endangered Chinese stripe-necked turtles (Mauremys sinensis), one endangered Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), and 7 Oldham's leaf turtle (Cyclemys oldhamii) being transported illegally by one woman on the regular coach from Ha Tinh to Hanoi. In addition, this shipment also included three geckos (Gekko gecko), one Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and one King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah).

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turtle confisction in Hanoi

October 2016 - Confiscation of endangered box turtles in Hanoi, Vietnam

On the 17th of October, 2016, Economic Police of Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi, Vietnam, in collaboration with the Hanoi Environmental Crime Prevention Police confiscated two critically endangered Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) being transported illegally by Nguyen Duc Dung residing in Phu Xuyen District, Hanoi. Following investigation at the object’s house, local authorities discovered five turtles of three endangered turtle species, including two individuals of Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), one individual of Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti), and two keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii).

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turtle confiscation

18th October 2016 - Confiscation of endangered box turtles in Nghe An province, Vietnam

On the 14th of October, 2016, Police of Nghi Loc district, Nghe An province has investigated and discovered 18 endangered box turtles being transported illegally on a bus from Vinh city in Nghe An province to Hanoi.

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replace Dong Mo net

6th October 2016 - Net preventing the Dong Mo Rafetus swinhoei from escaping replaced 

At the end of September 2016 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) has replaced the large 150m long 20m high net in Dong Mo Lake on the outskirts of Hanoi. The net is the only thing preventing the world’s only known wild Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) from escaping when the dam is opened.

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big-headed turtle confiscation

5th October 2016 - Large confiscation of endangered Big-headed Turtles in northern Vietnam

On the 4th of October 2016, Economic police of Thai Binh province stopped a truck with two individuals (Ngô Văn Hạnh and Lê Anh Đức) from Quang Binh Province. In the vehicle they found 61 Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and 37 Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum).

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C.galbinifrons & C.bourreti

5th October 2016 - Two highly endangered Southeast Asia turtle species now listed on the IUCN Red List of endangered species

Two highly endangered box turtles have now been added onto the IUCN Red List as critically endangered in September 2016. The Southern Vietnamese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata) is only know from the two provinces of Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen in south central Vietnam and Bourret's Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) has a limited range in central Vietnam and across into Laos.

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local counterpart training

27th September 2016 - Training of Rafetus local counterpart from northern Vietnam 

Over the weekend of the 24th - 25th of September 2016 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (ATP) has brought together all of the local counterparts from across northern Vietnam who are working to monitor five sites for the worlds most endangered turtle, Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei).

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UV light provision

23rd July 2016 - 50 endangered turtles find a new home at the Turtle Conservation Centre, Vietnam 

On the 22nd July 2016, 50 turtles belong to four species were transferring to the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) – Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam. They had all been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade by the law enforcement department and transferred to Soc Son Wildlife Rescue Centre (WRC) in June.

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UV light provision

June 2016 - Ultra Violet light provision improved for hatching turtles at the Turtle Conservation Centre - Vietnam

To improve UV provisions for turtle in captivity in Vietnam, on the 15th of June 2016, the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) Of Cuc Phuong National Park in corporation with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation of animal and their habitats, held a one-day training course on UV provision for the Asian Turtle Program staffs and TCC keepers.

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Ha Nam turtle rescue

May 2016 - 46 more endangered turtles rescued in Vietnam

At 4.30pm of the 24th of May 2016, Duy Tien District Police, Ha Nam province (northern Vietnam) confiscated 72 turtles of seven species, comprising 23 Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), 1 Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti), 8 Impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa), 7 Big-headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum), 6 Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), 1 Chinese stripe-necked turtle (Mauremys sinensis), and 26 Oldham’s leaf turtle (Cyclemys oldhami). The first four species are fully protected under Vietnamese law.

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Quang Nam School Program

May 2016 - Build the next generations to protect turtles

To celebrate the World Turtle Day, the Asian Turtle Program held an education program for students in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam, to learn about  turtles and tortoises of Vietnam and how to protect them. The presentation were leaded by officers at Asian Turtle Program and two volunteers from Bio-Environment faculty at Da Nang University.

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Soc Son TCC transfer

16th February 2016 - Rescue of critical tortoise and freshwater turtles in Vietnam

In 2015, the Turtle Conservation Centre received 185 turtles in 08 confiscations and from individual animals handed in from the pet trade. This had been one of the busiest years for rescues at the centre in the past decade. These numbers do not necessarily reflect an increase in animals being traded in Vietnam, but rather the improvement in confiscation and placement mechanisms in the country to deal with the wildlife trade.

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Mauremys breeding in TCC

1st February 2016 - Cuc Phuong National Park breeding success for the Vietnamese Pond Turtle in 2015

Despite a number of changes to captive enclosures in 2015 with the construction of secure paired breeding tanks for the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) the species has bred very well at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam. In all 25 new hatchlings emerged at the centre with some individuals being found in the semi-wild ponds and stream enclosures.

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What next for Hoan Kiem turtle

29th January 2016 - What next for the Hoan Kiem Turtle?

There have been recent news stories focused on wether a replacement turtle should be put into the lake to maintain the legend in someway. It has been suggested that the only other known remaining Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle in Vietnam inhabits Dong Mo Lake west of Hanoi has been suggested.  For many important reasons we view this as presently not a viable option and we encourage a discussion of the risks and alternatives.  

When considering moving any large animal from the wild into such a small urbanized area such as Hoan Kiem lake the following are all considerations:

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Hoan Kiem turtle's death

22nd January 2016 - Can the legend of Hoan Kiem Live On?

With passing of the Hoan Kiem Turtle in Hanoi many people are now considering the future of the species and what should be done. From a conservation and scientific perspective a number of approaches are available that could result in the long term restoration of the speices and potentially allow the legend of the giant turtles in Hoan Kiem to return one day.

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Hoan Kiem turtle's death

20th January 2016 - The death of the Hoan Kiem Turtle, Hanoi Vietnam - Farewell to a legend

It is with great sadness that Hanoi says farewell to a legend. Later on the afternoon of the 19th of January 2016 the body of the Hoan Kiem Turtle was found floating in central Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake. The turtle is famous in Vietnam with a 15th century legend relating to the giant animals that have inhabited the lake. In the legend King Le Loi was out on the lake following his victory over the invading Chinese army when a giant turtle emerged and took his magical sword that had been used in the battle. Following this the name of the lake was changed from the ‘Green Lake’ to Hoan Kiem Lake which translates as the ‘Lake of the Restored Sword’. Since this time the observation of a large turtle in the lake has often drawn crowds of spectators, with many Hanoian’s believing that seeing the turtle will bring good fortune.

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Thanh Hoa training

December 2015 - Reptile enforcement training in Thanh Hoa province, northern Vietnam focuses on the world rarest turtle

From the 16th to 17th of December 2015, a special enforcement-training course was held in Thanh Hoa province, northern Vietnam, for 25 wildlife protection agency staffs, including Forest Protection Department (FPD), Environmental Police and Border Guards. The two-day course on ‘Law enforcement training to strengthen protection of rare and endangered reptiles in Vietnam’ was designed to focus on priorities tortoise and freshwater turtle species occurring within the province, as well as identifying priority sites for the conservation of turtles in the province. 

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Xuan Mai presentation

25th November 2015 - Turtle talk held at Vietnam Forestry University inspires hundreds of future forest rangers 

On the evening of the 1st of November 2015, staff from the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) and Mr Do Thanh Hao of the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park were guest speakers at the Vietnam Forestry University, Hanoi.  The 'Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle conservation Workshop' was held by the Green For Future Club, an environmental-oriented student club of the university. The workshop was attended by nearly 400 students from various Faculties within the university with a majority of them studying Environmental and Natural Resource Management.

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TCC filming

23rd November 2015 - Filming season at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Vietnam

Since the end of October 2015 it has been a busy time for the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park. In additional to the hectic schedule dealing with care of over 700 threatened tortoise and freshwater turtles of over 22 species and maintaining a quarantine population of almost 150 animals from recent confiscations, the centre has also had 3 film crews visiting this month.

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X-ray Big-headed turtles

23rd November 2015 - X-raying Big Headed Turtles in Hanoi, Vietnam

On the morning of 21st November 2015, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) and Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam worked with the iVet clinic in Hanoi to x-ray 45 Big Headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) from the TCC. In total, from 42 live and 3 dead animals from recent confiscations X-rayed fish hooks were found in 2 dead animal and 4 live animals, some of these will need surgery to remove the hooks.

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ENV award

November 2015 - The Asian Turtle Program honoured for their contributions to wildlife protection

On the 14th of October 2015, Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) and its supporting partners, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Freeland, hosted the second annual "Outstanding Achievement Awards for Wildlife Protection" ceremony to honour five law enforcement officers and two journalists for their significant contributions to the protection of wildlife in Vietnam. The ceremony also acknowledged official corporate and media partners, as well as notable contributions from civil society and the public.

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major confiscation

4th October 2015 - Critical confiscation of highly endangered tortoises need help in Vietnam

A large confiscation of tortoise and freshwater turtles has been made on the 21st of September 2015 in Hanoi, Vietnam, with 237 animals. Comprising approximately 100 individuals of two Indochinese Box Turtle species (Cuora galbinifrons, Cuora bourreti), over 50 Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii) and over 30 Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) and a small number of Leaf Turtles (Cyclemys sp.).

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turtle trade online

24th September 2015 - ‘Rua Mua Ban’ arrested. One of Vietnams most active online traders of endangered turtles arrested in Hanoi, Vietnam

A significant breakthrough in the illegal online trade of tortoises and freshwater turtles in Vietnam was made recently. On the 6th of August 2015 the investigation Police Agency of Ha Dong Police, Hanoi, reported that they had arrested and prosecuted Mr Dinh Cong Thanh (born in 1987 in Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam) for violating the provisions stipulated in Article 190 - the Criminal Code of Vietnam on “rare and endangered wildlife protection”.

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Mauremys football

22nd September 2015 - Endemic Vietnamese Pond Turtle benefits from protection agreement signed along with community football matches

Since 2008, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) has been conducting various activities in order to raise awareness of local people toward the threats facing Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) and the importance to its protection.  Activities such as community football matches, awareness signboards and annual secondary school programs have all played a part.

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Hoang Lien training

11th September 2015 - Threatened reptiles and amphibians in Vietnam benefit from a conservation training program on field research and captive management

From the 07th to the 10th of September 2015, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the Centre for Rescue and Conservative Organism (CRCO) of Hoang Lien National Park (Lao Cai Province, Northern Vietnam) organised a Chelonian and Amphibian Field Skills and Husbandry Training Course for eight staffs of the CRCO. 

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turtle confiscation in Nghe An

19th August 2015 - Turtles rescued in Nghe An province, Vietnam

On the morning of 14th of August 2015 a car was stopped in Village 3, Nghi Kim Commune, Vinh City, Nghe An province, in north central Vietnam by the environmental police of the province.  The car which was driven by Nguyen Thi Quyen who lives in the province. 16 live turtles (3.4 kg) and 1 pangolin (5.5kg) were confiscated from the vehicle as Ms Nguyen could not provide legal documentation for the animals.

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cuora mouhotii text to office

24th July 2015 - Tortoise and freshwater turtle fields records now being texted into the Vietnam office

In a new development, 2015 has seen the first case of useful field record information for tortoise and freshwater turtles in Vietnam being submitted from local communities.   On the 17th of June 2015 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) office in Hanoi received a phone call from a young, 18 year old, man from the Hang ethnic group in Quynh Nhai district of Son La province in the mountainous northwest of Vietnam. 

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turtle rescue in Da Nang

21st July 2015 - Turtles rescued in Da Nang city

On the 20th of July 2015, 20 Malayan Snail-eating turtles (Malayemys subtrijuga) were successfully transferred to the Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park from the Da Nang province Forest Protection Department (FPD).  Da Nang FPD had confiscated the animals on the 14th of July 2015 in Hoa Chau commune, Hoa Vang district from a local trader.

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Phu Yen training

20th July 2015 - Reptile enforcement training in central Vietnam focuses on a globally important province for tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation

From the 16th to the 17th of July 2015 a special enforcement training course was held in Phu Yen province of central Vietnam for 20 wildlife protection agency staff, including Forest Protection Department (FPD), Fisheries and Environmental Police.  The two-day course on ‘Law enforcement training to strengthen protection of rare and endangered reptiles in Vietnam’ was designed to focus on priorities tortoise and freshwater turtle species occurring within the province, as well as identifying priority sites for the conservation of turtles in the province. 

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Singapore prison term

July 2015 - Two men jailed for 15 months each for trying to smuggle 206 endangered turtles through Singapore

On the 9th of July 2015, two Russian nationals were detained after their exotic stash was detected by a Certis CISCO aviation security officer at Singapore’s Changi Airport. The men were trying to smuggling 206 live Black Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) from Bangladesh to Surabaya, Indonesia. On the 14th of October 2015, the men were each sentenced to 15 months’ jail for the attempted smuggling.

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2015 Rafetus kid football

July 2015 - Kids Football For Turtle Conservation in Northern Vietnam

From the 13th - 21st July 2015 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) supported the kids football event in Yen Bai commune, Ba Vi district, Hanoi.  In all eight teams from eight villages in the commune participated.  The players aged from 11-14 years old, most of them were from the Muong ethnic group, a group that makes up 1.5% of the population of Vietnam where 54 ethnic groups are found.  During the matches around 600-700 spectators watched the games.

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US Interior Secretary visit TCC

July 2015 - U.S. Secretary of the Interior visits the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Vietnam

On the 1st of July 2015, Sally Jewell , U.S. Secretary of the Interior, visited Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh province, Vietnam to tour the Endangered Primate Research Centre, Pangolin Conservation Program and Turtle Conservation Centre.

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No hunting agreement

30th June 2015 - No hunting agreement from local fishermen helps protect the world’s rarest turtle

On the 15th of June 2015 the annual meeting was held for local fishermen around Dong Mo Lake in the outskirts of Hanoi. During the meeting contracts are determined for the coming year and since 2012 the ATP has also worked with the local lake owner, fishermen, and wildlife protection authorities, including the Forestry Protection Department (FPD) and local police.  During the 2015 meeting all 42 fishermen signed the no hunting agreements, in which they recognise the importance and protected status of the species.  The use of dangerous and prohibited equipment such as electro-fishing equipment, or long hook line set specifically for softshell turtles are also not allowed.

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turtle confiscation in Lang Son

30th June 2015 - Motorbike chase leads to the confiscation of 26 live threatened tortoise and freshwater turtle species in Vietnam

According to local language news on the 28th of June 2015 at 16:00 hours policeman were involved in a motorbike chase in which 26 lives turtles were recovered.  In the Northern Vietnamese district of Cao Loc in Lang Son province that borders with China, the police tried to stop a motorcyclist who was seen behaving suspiciously. However the motorbike refused to stop and attempted to escape, as the driver fled the left behind a container containing 26 live turtles weighing a total of 82kg.

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potential site for Rafetus

25th June 2015 - Another potential site for Rafetus swinhoei identified in Vietnam

Efforts continue to search for more animals in the wild.  On the 10th of May 2015 the Forest Protection Department (FPD) of a northern province in Vietnam contacted the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) in Hanoi to report having discovered a giant Softshell turtle in a large lake.  A rapid survey between the 19th and 22nd of May 2015 by the ATP corroborate this information.  During 20 interviews with locals 11 people reported having seen a huge Softshell turtle in the past, most sightings being around a decade ago. 

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Big-headed turtles

20th June 2015 - 27 Critically Endangered Big-headed Turtle rescued in Vietnam

On the 10th of June 2015 the Forest Protection Department (FPD) in Ninh Binh Province, Northern Vietnam, confiscated 27 endangered Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) and a single Wattle-necked Softshell Turtle (Palea steindachneri). Unfortunately two Big-headed Turtles were in very poor condition after the confiscation and died only hours later. The remaining 25 Big-headed Turtles along with the Wattle Necked Softshell Turtle were transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh Province. Many of the remaining animals are in poor condition and being cared for at the centre’s quarantine facility.

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fish hook line threat

15th April 2015 - Harmful fishing methods threaten the world’s most endangered turtle species in Vietnam

Through efforts by the ATP, Dong Mo Lake in Son Tay District of Hanoi was confirmed in 2007 to have wild Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtles surviving when a single individual was photographed in the wild.  A program of conservation was then initiated with awareness and monitoring of the site.  The lake has remained relatively well protected through this local community support since then.  But recently long lines of hooks have been found within the turtles habitat, although these smaller hook lines are set for the much smaller Chinese Softshell Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) they still pose a threat to their larger relative. If entangled the Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle in the lake could be injured or killed.

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student training 2015

10th April 2015 - Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course Continues to be a hit

Over a decade since the first Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course was held in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam, the course continues to be a hit with University students and young conservationists alike.  This year the training, which was held from the 28th of March to the 4th of April 2015, included 10 participants, 6 undergraduate students from national universities, one of them was a Laotian student, one Masters candidate, one lecturer from Bac Giang University, one ranger from a Bach Ma National park and one conservation officer from Mui Ca Mau biosphere reserve area. 

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Dong Mo boat race

13th March 2015 - Second boat race organized to support the world’s rarest turtle

The Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) has taken the cultural importance of the giant turtle species to promote conservation of the species at the site.  Rowing traditional boats on Dong Mo Lake is an almost daily activity for most of the 50 fishermen working the lake, as well as for local residents who are used to life so close to the water.  Much of the community depends on the lake for their economic survival.  In the past boat racing was never a consideration within the local community.

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Dong Mo football 2015

12th March 2015 - Fifth football match organized to support conservation of the worlds rarest turtle

From 25th of February to the 3rd  of March 2015, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) in collaboration with Kim Son commune Youth Union organized the fifth football event to promote the world rarest turtle, the Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei).  Only four individuals of the species are known in existence in the world, of those, two individual are living in Suzhou zoo, China; two are living in Vietnam with one known as the "Cụ Rùa" (which could imply “Grandfather or Grandmother Turtle’ as the term does not infer gender) in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem lake and one in Dong Mo lake, Son Tay district, Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Volleyball in central VN

9th March 2015 - Volleyball matches celebrate the new lunar year in central Vietnam and raise awareness to a highly threatened local turtle

The Lunar New Year, known as the Tet holiday, in Vietnam is the longest and most significant national holiday, on average lasting five days.  The Tet holiday signifies the end of the long cool winter and the start of a new year of agricultural production and prosperity.  This year the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) cooperated with the local Youth Union Department of Binh Khuong commune, Binh Son district in Vietnam’s central Quang Ngai province to organise a volleyball competition during the Tet holiday.

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no fishing zone

9th February 2015 - New no fishing zone created to protect the world's rarest turtle

From the 3rd to the 9th of February 2015, two no fishing zones were created in Dong Mo lake, Son Tay district, Hanoi, Vietnam. The zones which have been constructed by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) help protect important areas, the largest is 17 ha in the deepest section of the lake where the turtle is most often seen surfacing and active. The smaller 1.4 ha is located in front of a recently constructed sand bank built to provide a nesting opportunity for turtles in the lake. The zones were proposed in a bid to conserve the Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), considered the world’s rarest turtle with only four living animals known in existence and Dong Mo Lake in Northern Vietnam being the only known wild location where a single animal has been confirmed surviving.

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Dong Mo sand bank

27th January 2015 - New nesting beach built in the hope of attracting the worlds rarest turtle

From the 12th to 17th January 2015, staffs from the Asian Turtle program (ATP) have worked to create an artificial nesting beach for Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in Dong Mo Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam. The lake is the only known wild habitat for the critically endangered species for which only four animals are currently known in existence globally, two in China's Souzhou Zoo, one in Hanoi's downtown Hoan Kiem Lake which is considered a sacred animal and one confirmed in Dong Mo lake in 2007 by the ATP. 

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Dr. Pritchard visit Hoan Kiem lake

22nd January 2015 - Worlds most distinguished turtle experts gather at Hoan Kiem Lake to reminisce

From the 17th - 20th of January 2015, Dr Peter Pritchard has been visiting northern Vietnam.  As one of the world’s most highly regarded turtle scientists, it has been a pleasure to have him in Hanoi. During the visit on the 17th of January, Dr Pritchard visited Hoan Kiem Lake with the ATP team to meet Vietnam’s own expert on the Hoan Kiem Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), Professor Ha Dinh Duc and Nguyen Xuan Thuan who was the first to photograph the species in the wild.  Thanks to this memorable meeting, Dr Pritchard and Professor Duc had the opportunity to catch up on the many past trips during which they have met. 

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Hoang Lien training

January 2015 - Phu Yen: A growing trend called hunting golden turtles

Recently, many people from local mountain areas in Phu Yen have ceased faming jobs to chase the Vietnamese Pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis), now it’s called  golden turtle (rua vang). Experts in hunting yellow turtles shared, turtles preferred to inhabit in watered-areas like canals, ponds, rivers.

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TCC development

December 2014 - New Developments at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Vietnam

2014 has seen many significant developments at the turtle conservation centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. The TCC, with support from the Asian Turtle program (ATP), has made some new additions to the centre.  One of the new pieces of equipment is an incubator chiller, this specially built unit has been constructed from a modified drinks chiller with three heated incubation boxes inside. This allows for the TCC to incubate eggs at three different temperatures between 25oC and 30°C even in the summer.

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turtle rescue in Hanoi

December 2014 - Busy year for turtles rescues in Hanoi, Vietnam

2014 has been a busy year for turtle rescues in Hanoi, 28 turtles of 6 species (Indotestudo elongata, Cuora mouhotii, Cuora picturata, Geoemyda spengleri, Manouria impressa and Malayemys subtrijuga) have been handed into the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) office in Hanoi for transferring down to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. The majority of these animals have been brought in as a result of the growing trade trend in Hanoi, in which demand for exotics such as tortoises and freshwater turtles along with lizards, geckos and snakes seems to be growing.

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photographic measurement
report template
Manouria impressa

October 2014 - Impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa) handed in for transfer to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC)

On the 13th of October 2014, a local resident found an individual of Impressed tortoise (Manouria impressa) on the road near a village not far from the banks of Dong Mo lake, Son Tay district, Hanoi, Vietnam.  The lake is the only known habitat for Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) and has no no historical of hard shell turtle live around in the area. The appearance of a Impressed Tortoise, a species known for living in lush forest on high mountains would indicate the animal had escaped from somewhere nearby or had been released into the Ke Dam temple next to the lake for religious reasons.

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Mid-autumn festival

September 2014 - Rafetus Mid-autumn Festival September 2014

On the 11th September 2014 (14th August 2014 following the Lunar calendar), the ATP and Youth Union of Kim Son commune held a special event. “The Hoan Kiem Turtle Mid-autumn Festival”. At the event, traditional games were played such as blindfolded capture the duck, strike the water filled piñatas and sac races as well as traditional singing and dancing for villages from the Son Tay, Ba Vi area of Hanoi. The festival is an opportunity for farmers to relax after their exhausting work of the rice harvest. It is also a chance for students to celebrate the traditional Moon Festival meaningfully before the start of the new school year.

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Ex-softshell hunter becomes conservationist

12th June 2014 - Ex-softshell hunter becomes a conservationist

In the 1980 and 1990’s, Mr Nguyen Van Nhan living in Thanh Hoa province of Vietnam was well known in his local community as a hunter of giant softshells. These were Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), better known in Vietnam as the Hoan Kiem Turtle that can grow to over 150kg in size. They are now considered the worlds rarest turtle with only four animals known in existence. Using a techniques of harpoons and long baited hook lines to ensnare the giant animals he claims to have caught over 20 individuals in his lifetime.

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cuora mouhotii transfer to TCC

23rd May 2014 - 4 endangered Keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii) transferred to the TCC after student training

On the 27th March 2014, during the annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course held in Cuc Phuong National Park, the students discovered a total of 8 Keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii) while conducting an interview survey practical in SAM2 village in the buffer zone of Cuc Phuong National Park. In their interview they found out that the turtles were caught while the locals were collecting snails in the forest of Cuc Phuong National Park.

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turtle confiscation in Quang Ngai

14th May 2014 - Threatened turtles confiscated from the illegal trade in central Vietnam successfully rescued

On the 23rd of April 2014, Quang Ngai City Environmental Police and the Forest Protection Department (FPD) of Quang Ngai province, central Vietnam, confiscated 21.3 kilograms of wild animals following the inspection of luggage at Chin Nghia Bus station in the city. In the cargo hold of a coach a suspect was travelling on they found two cases containing nine turtles and seven snakes.

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student training 2014

31st March 2014 - Tenth Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill training course at Cuc Phuong National Park

From 22nd – 30th March 2014, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Turtle Conservation Central (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park held the 10th annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle (TFT) field skill training course for students, young biologists and forestry protection officers at the National Park in Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam.

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Rafetus football 2014

6th March 2014 - Fourth football cup raise awareness to worlds rarest turtle

From the 3rd to 11th February 2014 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metro Park Zoo and the Youth Union of Kim Son commune, Son Tay district, Hanoi held a football turtle cup to promote awareness to conserve Swinhoei Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in a stadium next too Dong Mo Lake. The lake is the only known wild habitat for the species, also considered the worlds most threated turtles species with only four animals known in existence golbally.

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library for conservation

11th February 2014 - Conservation library in Central Vietnam raises awareness to conservation of high school students in priority areas

On the 1st of December 2013, staff from the ATP gave more than 150 books about wildlife, the environment and conservation to establish conservation libraries at three Secondary schools in Binh Son district, Quang Ngai province. The area has been identified as a priority site for conservation of the Vietnamese pond turtle. It is hoped that the library along with environmental and conservation lessons and community awareness activities will help increase support for conservation amongst the next generation.

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Dong Mo dam

11th October 2013 - Conservation of Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in Dong Mo Lake: Close Call as Dam is Opened

Community support of protection of the Dong Mo turtle is growing following seven years of monitoring and awareness by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) at the lake. The authorities in Vietnam have helped rescue the turtle once already when a dam break in 2008 resulted in a 69kg Rafetus swinhoei escaping and being captured downstream. The turtle was fortunate rescued and returned to Dong Mo.

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Mauremys return

19th August 2013 - Coming home: Opportunities for conservation of the endemic Vietnamese pond turtle

The Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park has today welcomed home 71 endemic Vietnamese pond turtles (Mauremys annamensis) after a long journey from Europe, where two zoos have been breeding the critically endangered species.

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social media lead to turtle transfer

18th June 2013 - Social media leads to transfer of endangered turtles to the Turtle Conservation Centre in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam

On the 17th of June 2013 the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam, received three rare turtles from Hanoi after a local resident realised the importance of the endangered turtles after learning about the TCC and the centre's turtle conservation efforts on ‘Facebook'.

Increasingly popular in Asia Facebook in Vietnam alone is reported to have over 12 million users. The site has also offered conservation and development NGO's to reach a wider audience with both the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) and TCC gaining popularity with the Vietnamese public.

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yellow-headed temple turtles

10th April 2013 - Yellow-headed Temple turtles hatch at the Turtle Conservation Centre in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam

After several years of hiatus, the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park has hatched five endangered (IUCN Red List, 2011) Yellow-headed Temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii) this month.

In December 2012, while feeding these long term captive adult turtles, a keeper surprisingly discovered a newly laid nest with a clutch of six eggs. Despite being at the TCC in a deep pool of a semi-wild enclosure for 8 years, this was the first clutch of eggs for Heosemys annandalii at the centre.

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student training 2013

6th April 2013 - Detection dog finds wild Keeled box turtle during student training in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam

Turtle detection dogs from the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) achieved another success this week when they found an endangered Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) during this year's annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course in Cuc Phuong National Park.

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Quang Ngai interview survey

20th March 2013 - Interview survey produce nearly 50 records for turtles in Central Vietnam

From the 26th of February to the 6th of March 2013 members from the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) conducted 10 days of interview surveys in Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam. A focus of the survey was to evaluate the distribution, status and threats of two rare and critically endangered endemic turtle species in the province, the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) and Bourret's Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) while collecting important information on other tortoise and freshwater turtles present in the province.

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Quang Ngai interview survey

19th March 2013 - School and Community Programs raise the profile of endangered turtles in central Vietnam

From the 11th to 16th of March 2013, the ATP under Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) held an environmental education program in Nam Dong District. A series of community meetings and school programs brought attention to critical endangered turtles and the threats they face amongst local communities.

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Radio tracking

5th March 2013 - New radio-telemetry study for endangered turtles in central Vietnam following trapping success

From the 21st-27th January 2013, members of the ATP team in Quang Ngai City spent time in Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province, central Vietnam, for a weeklong trapping effort in an area slated to become a Species Habitat Conservation Area (SHCA) for endangered turtles. This is an area the Forest Protection Department (FPD) of Quang Ngai would like to set aside and protect for the critically endangered Vietnamese pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis). Currently, this species is not known from any protected areas, living in lowland wetland areas the species is at higher risk of extinction as wetland habitat are converted for rice production and the species is hunted for the wildlife trade where it has a high economic value.

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Radio tracking

17th October 2012 - Confiscated turtles from Ha Tinh province transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC)

On the 17th of October 2012, police and local Forest Protection Department (FPD) officers from Huong Son district (Ha Tinh province, Vietnam) pulled over a man who was transporting 50kg of turtles on his motorbike, driving on highway 8A through Son Bang commune heading for Vinh city (Nghe An province). The turtles were found wrapped with adhesive tape in a bag. The shipment included Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata), Impressed tortoises (Manouria impressa), Asian Leaf turtles (Cyclemys oldhamii) as well as one critically endangered Indochinese Box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) , one critically endangered Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti) and two endangered Keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii).

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General Resources for Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Conservation

List of turtle species in Vietnam

The up-to-date list of turtle species in Vietnam with their common names, scientific names and conservation status. Of the estimated 25 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles native to Vietnam, 16 are listed as “critically endangered” or “endangered” on the international IUCN Red List of endangered species. Seven more are listed as “vulnerable”.

The document can be downloaded from here

A new paper has been published on Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii)

Das, I., McCormack, T.E.M., van Dijk, P.P., Hoang, H.V., and Struijk, R.P.J.H. 2016. Cuora mouhotii (Gray 1862) – Keeled Box Turtle. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Iverson, J.B., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Pritchard, P.C.H., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(9):099.1–12. [doi:10.3854/crm.5.099.mouhotii.v1.2016; http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/

The full PDF article can be downloaded from here

A new paper has been published on the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) distribution, ecology and threats. 

McCormack, T.E.M., Dawson, J.E., Hendrie, D.B., Ewert, M.A., Iverson, J.B., Hatcher, R.E., and Goode, J.M. 2014. Mauremys annamensis (Siebenrock 1903) – Vietnamese Pond Turtle, Annam Pond Turtle, Rùa Trung Bộ. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(7):081.1–14, doi:10.3854/crm.5.081.annamensis.v1.2014, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/.

The full PDF article can be downloaded from here

Kinixys Conservation Blueprint 2014

A new paper has been published on the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) distribution, ecology and threats. 

Download the Kinixys Conservation Blueprint 2014 here. A comprehensive assessment to ensure the future of the genus. The resources provides excellent information and assessment of need to ensure the survival of the sub-Saharan African Hingeback Tortoises of which there are eight species in the genus. A great example of what is needed for many Asian tortoises and freshwater turtle species also.

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pdf
pdf
new microsatllite marker

October 2014 - New publication on using microsatellite markers to analyse genetic variability and divergence among five Asian box turtles species genus Cuora, focusing on Cuora trifasciata species complex. Cuora cyclornata now recognised as a full species distributed primarily in Vietnam.

New microsatellite markers allow high-resolution taxon delimitation in critically endangered Asian box turtles, genus Cuora. Salamandra From Tortsten Black

Tiedemann, R., Schneider, A.R.R., Havenstein, K., Blanck, T., Meier, E., Raffel, M., Zwartepoorte, H. & Plath, M. (2014): New microsatellite markers allow high-resolution taxon delimitation in critically endangered Asian box turtles, genus Cuora. Salamandra, 50 (3): 139-146 + Supplementary material

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traffic report

Thailand’s tortoise seizures significant but insufficient follow-up to quash illegal trade

Bangkok, Thailand, 19th September 2014—Tortoises and freshwater turtles may be slow movers, but they are being smuggled at lightning speed through Thailand, with close to 19,000 seized in six years.

A new TRAFFIC report, Seizures of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles in Thailand 2008-2013, analyses 53 reported seizures of tortoises and freshwater turtles in Thailand, over half of which took place at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.

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Ploughshare Tortoise

2014 - TRAFFIC - Critically Endangered Ploughshare Tortoises: shells branded to reduce demand

The Ploughshare Tortoise Astrochelys yniphora is highly threatened by persistent demand in the black market pet trade. As a result, its numbers in the wild have been drastically reduced to approximately 400 adult specimens. Assessed as being Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, these tortoises are stolen by poachers who sell them to unscrupulous traders, mainly in South-east Asia.

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Mauremys football

ATCN - TURTLE RELEASE: MERIT MAKING AND HOW TO MAKE IT RIGHT!

In Thailand, turtle release has been a traditional way of merit making for most of the Thais for all occasions, such as on birthdays, on auspicious occasions as well as when life is not going so well.

However, little is understood of how to release turtles and be confident that the freshwater turtles lead a good, long life thereafter.

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pdf

May 2008 - A Photographic identication guide to star-patterned tortoises - Kenneth McCloud

This identification guide provides a brief introduction to the star-patterned tortoises potentially encountered by wildlife law enforcement officials. The taxonomy used here follows that currently recognized by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). The emphasis here is on providing a photographic guide to identification, rather than a detailed biological key.

The three primary species commonly referred to as star-patterned tortoises (Family Testudinidae) include the Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans ), the Bumese Star Tortoise (Geochelone platynota), and the Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). These three species are emphasized here. There are additional tortoises that may have star-like patterns on their shells. Some, but not all of these are also described or illustrated here.

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