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Quang Nam Turtle Confiscation & Release
On 30th of March, ten forest rangers were on a primate survey training course organized by WWF MOSAIC Project & Quang Nam FPD in the forest of Song Thanh Nature Reserve when two turtle hunters passed through their camp. Mr. Nguyen Vu, Ranger from Phuoc Son District FPD, stopped the hunters and inspected bags that they were carrying, discovering 19 turtles of two species. The turtles included 17 Cuora galbinifrons bouretti and two Cyclemys pulchristriata. The hunters had reportedly spent a month in the forest using baited log-fall traps to catch the turtles. The turtles were confiscated by the rangers and taken to Phuoc Son District FPD where they were photographed and measured by Barney Long (who happened to be a trainer in the course). The turtle collectors were reportedly each fined 1,000,000 VND and released thereafter.
Within a week of the seizure, the turtles were released in what was described as suitable habitat. Unfortunately, Quang Nam FPD chose not to release the turtles back in the nature reserve, rather choosing an area adjacent a road far from the source area. The release was reportedly witnessed by the police and the market control force.
Hunters with seized turtles