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New CITES Regulation Bans Export of Heosemys from Laos
Last month, on 7 September 2012, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) issued trade suspensions on both Heosemys grandis and H. annandalii leaving Laos. Both species were previously regulated under CITES Appendix II, a status for species that may not necessarily threatened with extinction in the immediate future, but if trade is not monitored closely, the species could be at risk. However, the Giant Asian pond turtle (Heosemys grandis) is listed as vulnerable by both the Vietnamese and International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and Yellow-headed temple turtle (Heosemys annandalii) is considered endangered by both Red Lists as well.
The Asian Turtle Program, along with Forest Protection Department (FPD) of Vietnam has been doing its best in recent years to educate the public regarding laws that prohibit the sale and trade of turtles species in Vietnam, including CITES regulations (Decree 82/2006/ND-CP) and the principal wildlife protection law in Vietnam, Decree 32/2006/ND-CP.
Press release by – Asian Turtle Program (ATP)
Date: 2nd October 2012
Above: A Heosemys grandis basking at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. This individual was confiscated from the trade in the past. IUCN has now suspended the trade of this species from Laos, along with the congeneric H . annandalii
Source: CITES Trade Database, UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK