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Training of Rafetus local counterpart from northern Vietnam 

Over the weekend of the 24th - 25th of September 2016 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (ATP) has brought together all of the local counterparts from across northern Vietnam who are working to monitor five sites for the worlds most endangered turtle, Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei). The sites have been selected because of the historical occurrence of the species at them, but Dong Mo Lake remains the only Site where the species has been confirmed and an animal is seen regularly. The training also included forest protection staff from Son Tay District in which Dong Mo Lake is located.

Each participant was provided with a new field kit with a camera, binoculars, scales, calipers and other equipment for making observations on lakes and completing trade and field records for turtles they might encounter. Training practical included species identification, completing standardize animal field record forms, how to conduct basic interviews and make observations to try and csonfirm more Rafetus at these additional sites.

All the participants enjoyed the training and meeting the rest of the team. Over the next six months the ATP will coordinate intensive monitoring at the sites in the hope of recording more of these very rare turtles, but as always resources and manpower is limited. Please help support the ATP and its local counterpart team. Make a donation at, or emails us at

Press release by: Pham Van Thong - Asian Turtle Program
Date: 27th September 2016

Download this press release PDF here: English pdf

Download this press release PDF here: Vietnamese pdf

local counterpart training

Above: The team together next to Dong Mo lake. Photo credit: ATP


local counterpart training

Above: Practical training on completing field records. We hope to start getting additional information on other species also. Photo credit: ATP


local counterpart training

Above: Making observations on Dong Mo, with intensive time on Dong Mo the team can observe the turtle almost every month. We hope to replicate this at other sites. Photo credit: ATP


We would like to thank all the local counterparts for their enthusiasm, and to the Critically Endangered Partnership Fund (CEPF), the IUCN and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for supporting this activity.


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For more information please contact:

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) - Indo-Myanmar Conservation
Office: Room#1806, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu road, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Tel: +84 (0) 4 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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