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Interview survey for the Indochinese Box turtle around Pu Hu Nature Reserve in Northern Vietnam

From the 21st to the 28th of June 2011 an intensive interview survey for the Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) was conducted in the buffer zone of Pu Hu Nature Reserve Thanh Hoa Province, northern Vietnam to collect information on occurrence and distribution of the critically endangered Indochinese Box turtle in the Reserve.

During the rapid survey 21 interviews were conducted with 20 turtles of four species observed. Information was also collected on hunting techniques, hunting seasons and consumption in these areas. One shell and two live individuals of the critically endangered Indochinese Box Turtle (IUCN 2011) were seen. The shell was being kept for decoration while two live animals were with a hunters just returning from the forest.

Significantly 15 live Big Headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) were also seen. This species is increasingly rare in Vietnam and protected under national law, Decree 32/2006/ND-CP and listed as endangered (IUCN 2011. These animals from Pu Hu Nature Reserve had been bought by one local who was attempting to raise them.

The nature reserve clearly still has populations of some priority tortoises and freshwater turtle species and future field surveys are planed.

The survey was conducted by Nguyen Tai Thang (Asian Turtle Program of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo) and Tran Van Dung (a student from Vietnam Forestry University) in the buffer zone of Pu Hu Natural Reserved as part of a joint project with the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Press release by:

Nguyen Tai Thang – Asian Turtle Program, Field assistant

11th July 2011


Download this press release PDF here: English pdf

Above: An Indochinese Box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) observed in the buffer zone of Pu Hu Nature Reserve

Above: A Big Headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) being kept in a local house

Above: A H'mong minority ethnic hunter returning from the forest with two Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons)


Thank you:


The survey was supported by the Critically Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF). We would like to thank the Forest Protection Department of Thanh Hoa Province and Pu Hu Nature Reserve for their support and interest in turtle conservation.

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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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