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Reptile enforcement training in central Vietnam focuses on a globally important province for tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation.

From the 16th to the 17th of July 2015 a special enforcement training course was held in Phu Yen province of central Vietnam for 20 wildlife protection agency staff, including Forest Protection Department (FPD), Fisheries and Environmental Police.  The two-day course on ‘Law enforcement training to strengthen protection of rare and endangered reptiles in Vietnam’ was designed to focus on priorities tortoise and freshwater turtle species occurring within the province, as well as identifying priority sites for the conservation of turtles in the province.  The training was organized by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) and the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park.

The first day was lecture based covering threats, species identification and laws. On the second day of training a visit was made to Deo Ca Hon Nua Special Use Forest, this is one of the only sites in Vietnam where the critically endangered Southern Vietnamese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata) has been found to occur in the wild. The species is extremely range restricted only occurring within two provinces (Khanh Hoa and Phu Yen provinces) in south central Vietnam.  During the visit to Deo Ca the head of the areas FPD station, Mr. La Ngoc Tinh, gave an introduction to the area.  The group also visited a number of potential wetlands where the critically endangered and endemic Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) likely historically occurred. Discussions were also held on future conservation potential for this species in the province.

The importance of the province was highlighted by a confiscation on the 15th of July of 16 turtles in Dong Hoa district, Phu Yen province.  The bust included Cuora picturata, Indotestudo elongata, Manouria impressa, Sacalia quadriocellata, Cyclemys sp., which are a priority. Animals were reportedly released back into Deo Ca forest.

Following the training law enforcement officials in the province will be better equipment with the information they need to ensure greater focus and protection of threated tortoise and freshwater turtles in this important province.

Press release by: Timothy McCormack – ATP/IMC
Date:  20th July 2015

Download the English version here

Download the Vietnamese version here

Cuora picturata

Above: A Cuora picturata seen in the wild in Deo Ca forest.  Photo by: Torsten Blanck


Deo Ca forest

Above: Some ponds and wetlands very close to Deo Ca Forest would be suitable for Vietnamese Pond Turtle reintroduction if they could be included in the protected area.  Photo by: Timothy McCormack - ATP


Mauremys annamensis

Above: The Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) is a species that does well in captivity but lacks suitable habitat in which to re-establish wild populationsPhoto by: Katie Morgan

Photo gallery


Thank you


We would like to thank Rotterdam Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, IUCN and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) for supporting this activity. We would also like to thank Rangers and Environmental Police from Phu Yen province for their enthusiasm and commitment during the training.

cmz ;rotterdam zoo iucn

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For more information please contact:

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation
Office: Room#1806, CT1, C14 Bac Ha building, To Huu street,
Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: +84 (0) 24 7302 8389





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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