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Vietnam-China CITES Training
for Enforcement Officers

Identification of species commonly found in trade at China and Vietnam border

TRAFFIC Indochina hosted CITES training for customs department officers from Vietnam and China. The four-day workshop was held in Hanoi from 26 to 29 May 2004 with the overall objective of strengthening control over cross-border trade of wildlife, and improve the effectiveness of CITES enforcement. In addition to training specific to CITES implementation along the border, participants were provided with specific training relevant to identification of commonly traded species, to include tortoises and freshwater turtles, pangolins, and primates.

As Vietnam's CITES scientific authority, the Institute for Ecology and Biology Resources (IEBR) carried out the species identification component of the workshop, followed by a visit to Cuc Phuong National Park where the participants received first-hand instruction on turtle and primate identification techniques, using the captive facilities there.

In all, about 10 Vietnamese customs officers attended the workshop and 15 representatives from the Chinese customs service and national CITES authority.

Prof. Nguyen Xuan Dang delivered the IEBR lecture on species identification in the morning of 28 May 2004. The lecture included three parts:
(1) a brief introduction to taxonomy, general identification procedure and methods for confiscated animals (about 30 minutes);
(2) An introduction to identification characteristics of some important animal species, including pangolins, primates, and turtles (about 60 minutes) and
(3) A test to review the lesson on identification.

With regard to the turtle identification part, IEBR training introduced participants to 16 species of turtles native to Vietnam, with each species represented in a table listing some specific characteristics of the species and a photograph.

At Cuc Phuong National Park, turtle identification skill-building training was carried out by Bui Dang Phong, manager of Cuc Phuong National Park's Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) and Douglas Hendrie, Asia Regional Turtle Conservation Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Living examples of 14 commonly traded species were used to introduce participants to key identification characteristics for each species. Participants then received a guided tour of the park's Turtle Conservation Center.


Press release by Dang Thi Nguyet (WCS Vietnam Program)

28th May 2004

Above: Vietnamese and Chinese Customs department officers participate in a turtle identification workshop in Cuc Phuong National Park

Above: Bui Dang Phong, manager of Cuc Phuong National Park's Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) explains basic turtle identification skills

Above: Bui Dang Phong displays a live turtle in order to teach key characteristics for successful identification


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For more information please contact:

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metoparks Zoo,
Office: Room#1302, Thanh Cong Tower, 57 Lang Ha Street,
Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: +84 (0) 4 3514 9750
Fax: +84 (0) 4 3519 0383




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