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Turtle Conservation Fund Awards Announced
Five turtle projects in the Asia region will receive small grants awarded by the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF), according to Anders Rhodin, co-chair of the TCF. This year's projects include:
Conservation of the Roti Island snake-necked turtle (Chelodina mcCordi) in Indonesia . Administered by TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, the grant will focus on protecting what may be the few last remaining wild Roti Island snake-necked turtles, endemic to Roti Island. This critically endangered turtle species is threatened by hunting, mainly for the international pet trade.
C onservation of the river terrapin, Batagur baska on the Setiu River, Terengganu state, Malaysia. A seed grant will help KUSTEM University initiate a conservation and research-focused project aimed at protecting a wild population of Batagur baska on the Setiu River in eastern peninsular Malaysia. Batagur baska is threatened hunting and trade, as well as loss of habitat and wholesale exploitation of eggs from nesting beaches.
Community-based conservation of Swinhoe's soft-shell turtle, Rafetus swinhoei in Vietnam . A wetland in Thanh Hoa province will be the focus of attention for scientists and conservationists, where local people report that this large critically endangered soft-shell species may persist in small numbers. Efforts will focus on research, awareness, and involving local communities in protecting the wetland. Rafetus swinhoei has been named the world's most endangered freshwater turtle species. The project will be carried out through a partnership between Hanoi National University, WCS, and the Cleveland Metropark Zoo.
The Cuc Phuong National Park Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) in Vietnam . The TCC will receive support for their efforts to establish assurance breeding groups for five priority species, in addition with continuing efforts to raise public awareness, and train wildlife protection authorities in Vietnam.
Establishing captive holding facilities for the Burmese roofed-terrapin, Kachuga trivittata at Mandalay Zoo in Myanmar . A small grant will help the zoo develop facilities for captive breeding and rearing of this critically endangered river turtle, utilizing founder stock confiscated from the trade. Kachuga trivittaat is endemic to Myanmar, and presently known only from two river systems. Threats include hunting, apparently mainly for subsistent use.
5th July 2004