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No.10, 16th December 2011


1. Nghe An Province, Vietnam: 10 people died and 4 people were severely injured in an illegal logging truck crash

SOURCE: – DATE: 7th December 2011

In the early morning of December 7, 2011, an illegal logging truck flipped over, killing 10 local people and injuring four others. The names of the dead and injured are known, but the cause leading to the crash is still being investigated. The crash occurred at 3:50 a.m. on Wednesday at the Pu Huoc slope in Tuong Duong district, Nghe An. Province, Vietnam. The driver of the truck survived and is in the local hospital. Others injured in the crash are in worse conditions. Among those injured more seriously are three Forest Protection Department (FPD) staff members who work for the Pu Huong Natural reserve. On December 13, 2011, the Nghe An police prosecute one FPD staff member, two chiefs of the commune FPD station and the vice chief of the Pu Huong Nature Reserve FPD. The owner of the logs who is suspected to be an official in Nghe An province has yet to be identified. The clear involvement of FPD, those employed to protect Vietnamese forests and wildlife is clearly a major concern for conservation efforts.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


2. Hanoi city, Vietnam. New regulations have been issued to protect rescued wildlife

SOURCE: – DATE: 12th December 2011

The Hanoi People Committee has issued new regulations that have come into effect on December 16, 2011 to protect wildlife animals. The new regulations control the rights and obligations of involved parties to rescue wildlife animals in the city. All confiscated wild animals are to be transferred to Wildlife Rescue Centre's and Soc Son Rescue Station. If animals come from outside the city a request must be submitted to receive the animals. If the animals have infectious diseases, the Wildlife Rescue Centre's are to treat these diseases. Criteria have been set for releasing animals back to the wild following confiscations, if this option is not available they are to be maintained at the rescue centers.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


3. Mekong delta, Vietnam. Wild animals face extinction in Mekong

SOURCE: – DATE: 13th December 2011

Wild animals in the mountainous districts of the Mekong Delta Vietnam, An Giang and Kien Giang provinces, are facing a serious extinction threat because of local hunters looking for meat to sell at local restaurants. According to Nguyen Van Lam, a wild animal dealer in Tri Ton District (An Giang province), animals sell at very high prices, for example he claims some turtles for VND 500,000 (USD $23.80) per kilo. He also claims that local demand is so high that he does not have enough wildlife to supply wildlife for export to China.

Link to this web article online (English)


4. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: Wildlife on the menus of restaurants

SOURCE: – 13th December 2011

Due to poor management of internet advertising it is now easy for traders to sell wildlife on the internet in Vietnam. Searches of forums such as Rongbay, 5giay, Argriviet and Vatgia can easily find pangolins, birds, cobras and turtles for sale.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


5. Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam: Release of two Bourret's box turtles (Cuora bourreti) to Sao La Nature Reserve

SOURCE: – DATE: 14th December 2011

In the morning of December 12, 2011, the Hue Forest Protection Department cooperated with officials of the Sao La Natural Reserve to release two Bourret's box turtles (Cuora bourreti) into the nature reserve. This critically endangered species (IUCN 2011) is endemic to central Vietnam but increasingly rare due to illegal hunting and trade.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


6. Hanoi city, Vietnam: Artificial insemination considered to save the Hoan Kiem turtle from extinction

SOURCE: – DATE: 15th December 2011

Since the Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) recently has emerged several times to bask the question on how to preserve this rare turtle species has arisen once again. The popular solution is to find an individual of the same species for the Hoan Kiem turtle to breed with. But if this is not possible other options are being considered. “I would like to do research on the Hoan Kiem lake turtle's DNA, but I don't have the budget for it. I am holding on to the turtle's DNA and if we find an individual that has the same DNA as the Hoan Kiem turtle, we will apply some biological methods to breed the turtle artificially”, said Le Tran Binh an official of the Institute of Biotechnology (IBT). Some are concerned that if other Rafetus can not be found success will be limited. “The only way to breed the turtle is to find another individual of the same species as the Hoan Kiem turtle. Artificial cloning and breeding at this stage is impossible because the eggs will not be fertilized when breeding two different species. If there were a chance of fertilizing the eggs, the F1 generation will not be fertile and can't breed” added Dr. Ha Dinh Duc, an experienced turtle researcher.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


7. Hanoi city, Vietnam. The Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) may be hungry

SOURCE: – DATE: 16 thDecember 2011

Lack of food, pollution or weather change may affect the Hoan Kiem turtle, as it has surfaced often recently. Since the turtle returned to the lake in July 2011 it has emerged many times, at least 12 in November and four times in early December, said Dr. Ha Dinh Duc, who has kept track of the turtle for decades. Dr. Nguyen Viet Minh, an aquatic expert, said that the turtle rose to the surface because it was hungry with the 6,000 fish released in July is not enough for the turtle, especially since the turtle had got used to being fed by hand during treatment. Another expert, Dr. Bui Quang Te added other factors that will affecting the turtles behaviour include pollution and weather change while Dr. Ha Dinh Duc thinks the turtle had to surface to breathe because algae growth during the dry season has reduced oxygen in the water.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link to this web article online (English)



8. Hanoi city, Vietnam. Hoan Kiem turtle needs periodic health examinations

SOURCE: – DATE: 17th December 2011

On December 16, 2011, Hanoi authorities and some scientists had a meeting and agreed that the Hoan Kiem turtle should be examined periodically and the turtle tower in the lake should be redesigned for the turtle to be able to bask on the small island. In the meeting, Mr. Le Xuan Rao, the president of the Hanoi Science & Technology Institute, summarized the process of the Hoan Kiem turtle treatment and explained how the lake should be cleaned and the turtle fed in the future. “Recently the turtle rose to the surface many times and again, some injuries were observed; therefore we need a plan to keep track of the turtle's health. With today's modern technology, we can use a camera to observe the turtle instead of capturing the turtle” said Dr. Dang Huy Huynh, the president of Vietnam Zoological Society. “The turtle tower also needs to be improved so we can feed the turtle there. If the turtle makes it a habit to climb onto the island to eat, it will be easier for scientists to take care of the turtle.” added Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Khoi, of the KAT farm. The lake should be cleaned frequently in order to create a healthy habitat for the turtle.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


9. Ecuador. The Galápagos tortoise, the largest tortoise in the world

SOURCE: – DATE: 17th December 2011

As Vietnam continues its interest in all things chelonian an article described the incredible size of the Galápagos tortoise. As the largest tortoise in the world these animals can grow to over 400kg and 1.8 meters in length. With a lifespan of more than 170 years these gigantic tortoises can carry a man on their shell. These are really impressive animals.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


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