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Improvements made for annual
'Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course in Vietnam'

From the 19th to 26th of March 2016, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) has worked in collaboration with the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park to hold the twelfth annual 'Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course'. The course has been one of the most popular and long running course in field skill training in Vietnam over the last decade.  2016 saw 114 applications received from various sources, including 28 national universities of Vietnam and four provincial Forestry Protection Departments.

Twelve trainees, including two Laotians master students, eight university students and one lecturer from seven national universities of Vietnam and one ranger participated in the 8-day long training course in 2016. Participants were provided with practical skills and experience relating to research and conservation of turtles through a combination of classroom instruction and field exercises. They also learnt about the extinction threats facing Asia's turtles, about turtle ecology and how to identify different species native to Vietnam. Participants also acquired practical skills such as handling turtles, using maps, compasses and GPS for field surveys, interview survey methods, aquatic trapping skills. Practicals were completed in both the local communities and in Cuc Phuong forest. Lessons plans used for the training course went through considerable changes in order to provide students with the most up-to-date information, providing more advanced knowledge and skills.

On the seventh day of the training course, students were brought to a village in the buffer zone of Cuc Phuong National Park to practice interview survey methodology's they had learned during the course. Three groups of students were assigned different villages to practice their interview skills to collect information on turtle species richness and status of native turtle species in the park. During the interview practicum, unfortunately, three endangered Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), a native species of Cuc Phuong, were observed in local household. All were reportedly caught in nearby limestone forest areas while locals had been out collecting terrestrial snail at night. The students tried to persuade the local households to either release these turtle back into the wild or hand them over to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC). However, only one turtle was handed in, this animal was released back into the forest on the same day.

"It's great to see the course has developed and continues to be so popular since it first started in 2005. With so many promising students taking park I am looking forward to seeing more positive impacts on turtle conservation in Vietnam" said Nguyen Thu Thuy, ATP's training and rescue program coordinator.

Date: 6th April 2016
Press release by: Hoang Van Ha – ATP

Download this press release PDF here: English pdf

Download this press release PDF here: Vietnamese pdf

student training

Day 1: Tour of Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC). Photo by: Pham Van Thong – ATP/IMC.

 

student training

Day 3: Measuring & Mapping, Students practiced using compass. Photo by: Pham Van Thong – ATP/IMC.

Gallery for Student training 2017

Day 2: Turtle ID, Viengsavanh (Laos) and Le Viet Dung (Kon Chu Rang Nature Reserve) practiced turtle and tortoise identical features and measurements with shell specimens. Photo by: Pham Van Thong - ATP Day 2: Turtle ID, Students initially practiced TFT identical features and measurements with shell specimens. Photo by: Pham Van Thong - ATP Day 2: Nesting and production, Egg practice. Photo by: Pham Van Thong - ATP Day 3 Measuring & Mapping. Instructor Hoang Van Ha - ATP guided participants how to use GPS. Photo by: Nguyen Tai Thang - ATP Day 3 Measuring & Mapping Instructor Nguyen Tai Thang - ATP guided participants how to use GPS. Photo by: Pham Van Thong - ATP Day 3 Measuring & Mapping Instructor Pham Van Thong - ATP guided participants how to use GPS. Photo by: Nguyen Tai Thang - ATP Day 3 Measuring & Mapping, Participants learn how to work with map, compass and GPS in forest. Photo credit: ATP Day 3 Measuring & Mapping, Participants learn how to work with map, compass and GPS in forest. Photo credit: ATP Day 3 Measuring & Mapping, Participants learn how to work with map, compass and GPS in forest. Photo credit: ATP Day 5 Radio tracking Students learn radio-telemetry method. Photo by: Pham Van Thong Day 5 Radio tracking Students learn radio-telemetry method. Photo by: Pham Van Thong - ATP Day 5: Processing field records, Nguyen Thu Thuy - ATP taught students on recording data from specimen observations. Photo by: Pham Van Thong - ATP Day 7: Unfortunately, three Keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii), a native species of Cuc Phuong, has been observed in local household who caught them in nearby limestone forest area while collecting terrestrial snail at night. Photo by: Nguyen Tai Thang - ATP Day 7: Interview practicum in the village, in buffer zone of Cuc Phuong National Park. Photo by: Pham Van Thong - ATP Day 7: Happy SMILES after nearly an hour of convincing turtle owner to transfer this turtle to the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Centre. Photo by: Hoang Van Ha - ATP Day 7: In the afternoon, while student were staying in class room, prepared for their interview result presentation, TCC and ATP staff has brought the lucky turtle to release into Cuc Phuong forest where a 5-year long radio-tracking project on keeled box turtle implemented. Photo by: Hoang Van Ha - ATP lightbox slideshow galleryby VisualLightBox.com v6.1

 

Thank you:

We would like to thank Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for supporting this activity. As well as Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh Province for their continued collaboration on this long term joint training activity.

 

 

 

 

CMZ

 

CPNP

 

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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
Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84 (0) 4 7302 8389
Email: info@asianturtleprogram.org

 

 

    ATP would like to thanks the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for supporting this website
Asian Turtle Program - Indo Myanamar Conservation
Room 1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Phone:+84 (0) 4 7302 8389
E-mail: info@asianturtleprogram.org
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Website: www.asianturleprogram.org

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