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Community Football Tournament
Increases Vietnamese Pond Turtle Conservation Awareness

On the 12th and 13th of September 2012, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) brought together eight football teams from Binh Minh commune, an area that is also home to the endemic and critically endangered Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis). A focus of the Mauremys annamensis Project (MAP) in central Vietnam.

The friendly yet competitive football matches took place at the commune's stadium in an effort to increase conservation awareness to the important species. “We organized this friendly football tournament to build relationships and strengthen support for conservation among the local youth. We believe this will help increase conservation awareness in our effort to protect the Vietnamese Pond Turtle from illegal hunting and habitat loss,” said Ms. Thu Hien, MAP Coordinator.

The Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) is a species of particular conservation concern. A highly localized endemic species found only in lowland coastal areas of central Vietnam that also see some of the highest human population densities in the country. Believed to range from Da Nang southward to Phu Yen province. The ecology and distribution of the species was first described in 1939, but following that, no field records of wild individuals were collected until 2007 when members of the ATP rediscovered Mauremys annamensis in the wild in the Quang Nam province.
Many gaps still remain in knowledge of the species. And even though it is fully protected under Vietnam's principal wildlife protection law, Decree 32/2006-ND-CP, the species continues to be hunted for the wildlife trade. Currently, this species is not believed to occur in any protected areas, which further complicates conservation.

At the tournament, Mr Khac Trinh, the top scorer of the My Long village team, said, “I am happy to participate in this football tournament because most of my friends and I are busy with studying and earning a living. Through this event, I think that many of the youths from Binh Minh commune have participates in ‘a shot for Mauremys annamensis.' This is both our slogan for the tournament and a promise to protect this species, together.” At the close of the tournament prizes were awarded to the top three teams: My Long, Nhat Tay and Nhi Dong villages.

The ATP will continue to focus conservation efforts including community awareness in both Binh Minh and Binh Khuong communes of Quang Ngai province with community support for conservation essential for such a species where habitat is fragmented and unprotected.


Press release by: Pham Thi Thu Hien - ATP

Date: 19th September 2012


Download this press release PDF here: English


Above: Souvenir flags were distributed to each team at the football match for their support in Mauremys annamensis conservation.

Above: Hundreds of spectator and local leader came to watch the football matches during this tournament.

Above: A representative from the winning team proudly claims prizes after a very competitive, successful tournament.

Above: The focus of the game, a Mauremys annamensis in Binh Yen Village, Binh Khuong Commune, Binh Son District.

Above: Two teams battle it out to be crowned the champions of the Mauremys annamensis awareness football match. Photo by: Vo Si lam – ATP

Above: My Long village hammer a goal home against Nhi Tay village.

Above: Penalty shootout during final match

Special football kits sporting Mauremys annamensis and the message ‘Shoot for the Vietnamese Pond Turtle' were made for players.


Thank you:


We would like to thank all those who have supported our work and the Mauremys annamensis Project (MAP). The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Birdlife International, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF). As well as local partners and agencies, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), the Forest Protection Department (FPD) and the People's Committee of Binh Minh Commune, Binh Son district, Quang Ngai province .

Support Our Conservation Activities, if you would like our program and activities please visit our donations page or click the donate button


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




MBZ ATP would like to thanks the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for supporting this website
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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