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The next generation of turtle biologists learn tools of the trade in Vietnam

In March 2012, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) in corporation with Cuc Phuong National Park’s Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) organized their eighth Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course. Aimed at young biologist, conservationists and wildlife protection officials the training course was held at Cuc Phuong National Park from the 17th to 25th of March. This year ten students from national universities and two rangers from two Nature reserves of Vietnam participated and a new training module on GIS and GPS was supported by the Institute of Ecology and Biology Resources (IEBR) of Hanoi.

Students learned practical field skills for tortoise and freshwater turtle interview surveys, field surveys and conservation projects. Skills such as measuring and mapping, interview methodology and the importance of conservation in research were taught, this year also included a new module on the use of open source GIS software, QGIS, and linking GPS data to the program to visualize local coordinate’s from field work. This new module was provided by the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR) of Vietnam. Following interview surveys in the local community students were able to make small presentations on their findings including GIS maps produced using the software.

“As always its great to see the students enjoying the training so much, and we’re very happy to have forest rangers from key protected areas involved too” said Hoang Van Ha the Vietnam program coordinator for the Asian Turtle Program (ATP).

We would like to thank Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) for their long-term support of the field skill course. Students have continued to go on and participate in conservation and research related to the taxa. In 2011 Ly Tri, a student participant from 2008 published his findings of Lesser Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata) in the wild, a species for which no known wild populations were previous known.


Press release by: Hoang Van Ha - ATP

30th March 2012








turtle handling

Above: Vo Thi Ngoc Le identifying a soft-shell turtle

Above: Students practice turtle identification

Above: Students view the underwater turtle exhibit in the visitor interpretation centre of the turtle conservation centre

Above: Student Le Thanh Huong learns how to measure turtle morphometrics

Above: Students practising using GPS during village interviews

Above: Student Loc Vuong Ngoc uses radio telemetry equipment to find a turtle during one exercise

Above: Nguyen Tai Thang of the ATP helped students with using GPS



Thank you:


We would like to thank you for support from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF), Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ), Cuc Phuong National Park (CPNP), the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR) and American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).


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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




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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)4 7302 8389

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