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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.

Normally, Vietnamese Pond turtles have average and small sizes. A big turtle weighs over 1 kilo, a small one weighs about 0,4 kilo.

It is the beauty of clear and amazing patterns on their shell enclosing with yellow-striped lines under their stomach which differs from other kinds that attracts turtle traders.

In the beginning, the price of turtles costs few million Vietnam Dong/kg. Next, it rises to more than ten to few tens million VND.
After one month, traders aggressively/ vigorously seeking for turtles helps to skyrocket the price to 120 – 150 million VND ($5,714 - $7,142) for a kilogram, even highest peak is 300 million Dong ($14,285).

The price is for a kilogram of turtles currently as precious/ valuable as the amount of money people must work really hard in a long time. Therefore, local people from mountain areas such as Son Hoa, Song Hinh, Dong Xuan (Phu Yen) are fascinated by this big picture. This also triggers a spreading trend among local people, accounting for a large proportion of population from the locals.

Here are some pictures captured by journalists who follow hunting-turtles experts.


Download this press release PDF here: English pdf

Download this press release PDF here: Vietnamese pdf

Mauremys annemensis

Golden coin turtles "prefer" areas having unclean water or mud, so people often choose these places to set traps.


mauremys trade

Turtle trap nets are stretched across the narrow part of a stream so that all golden coin turtles accidentally pass by the areas will be trapped and caught.


mauremys trade

After several nights of waiting in the freezing mountainous area, Mr. Vo Van Cuong living in Son Hoa District of Phu Yen provicne, showed joy when discovering a golden turtle had been trapped.


mauremys trade

Clear, beautiful patterns on turtle carapace.

mauremys trade

Clear yellow stripes on the turtle plastron


mauremys trade

Ms Huynh Thi H. (wearing green coat) – a turtle trader went to Mr Cuong’s house to purchase the turtle at the price of VND 130 million.


Chinese trap

Mr Cuong excitely showed the turtle to everyone. He said it was a gift from the heaven. Thanks to it, this year, he and his family would enjoy a happy and abundant Tet holiday.


mauremys trade

After learning that the turtle caught by Mr Cuong had been sold for more than 100 million dong, many local people eagerly told that would go the Central Highland to hunt turtles with the hope of catching turtles to change life.


mauremys trade

Party was held for catching the turtle.


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Asian Turtle Program - Indo-Myanmar Conservation
Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Phone:+84 (0) 24 7302 8389

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