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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN
No 11, 25 th December 2011
1. Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam: Sea turtles are losing their home
Source: nld.com.vn DATE: 20th Dec 2011
According to Mr. Truong Kinh – the Director of the Nha Trang national conservation aquarium, nesting areas for sea turtles (Bai Dai and Dam Tre beaches) in Khanh Hoa province, central Vietnam are being destroyed due to poor construction planning, leaving sea turtles struggling to survive in these areas. Unfortunately, the local government has shown little concern for this matter despite numerous proposed conservation plans.
2. An Giang province, Vietnam: Hunting for local restaurants endangers tortoises
Source: dantri.com.vn- DATE: 21st Dec 2011
Every day tons of wildlife such as snakes, tortoises, lizards and wild boar are illegally hunted in the mountainous area of An Giang and Kien GIang provinces, Vietnam. One local wildlife trader, Mr. Tran Van Leo, claims that wild turtles are much more nutritious and healthy than farmed turtles because they live in a clean environment. This is something repeated by some wildlife restaurants and consumers and means wild caught turtles will command higher prices in the trade, 400,000 – 500,000 VND (20-25$) per kilogram. With strong demand for export to China remaining when local forests cannot meet demand additional wildlife is also purchased from Cambodia. The situation shows how important it is that the authorities step in, enforce the laws and and protect local wildlife.Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)
3. Hanoi city, Vietnam: Finding a mate for the Vietnamese soft shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei)
Source: khoahoc.baodatviet.vn – DATE: 23rd Dec 2011
Scientists are seeking a suitable mate for the soft shell turtle in Dong Mo Lake near Hanoi, northern Vietnam. The Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) appears to be a lone male, others of the species used to be found in the Red and Ma rivers, if a mate could be found the species may avoid extinction. However, differences still remain in opinions about the species and the famous Hoan Kiem Turtle in Hanoi (believed by many experts to also be a Rafetus swinhoei). Professor Mai Dinh Yen, Vice President of Vietnam Ecology Association said ‘if the Hoan Kiem turtle is classified as a distinct species, it would be the only individual of its kind. Alternatively, if the Dong Mo and Hoan Kiem soft shell turtles are indeed the same species, there are four surviving individuals that possibly could be bred in the future. In this case, breeding the Dong Mo and Hoan Kiem turtles may still be impossible because of the extreme age of the Hoan Kiem animal. Its age was probably the reason for two failed attempts to breed it in the past. In order to solve this difficult situation, finding a mate in the Red or Ma river is more favorable before seeking for a mate in China.
The discussion of breeding loan options for the species is needed, with hope fading of finding additional animals in the wild sending the Dong Mo Lake Rafetus swinhoei increasingly seems like the most logical next step in conservation of the species.Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)
4. Vietnam: Wildlife is facing extinction
Source: cand.com.vn – DATE: 24th Dec 2011
Vietnam ranks as the 16 th most bio-diversity rich country in the world with over 12,000 native animal species. Unfortunately the last 20 years has seen 10 species become extinct in Vietnam as a direct result of the illegal wildlife trade, as records by the Forest Protection Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The illegal wildlife trade is most prolific in Ho Chi Minh city, Quang Ninh and Dong Nai province. In order to prevent more species becoming extinct in Vietnam, it is crucial to improve wildlife protection policies. This article is a sensible statement but unfortunately following through with enforcement action seems slow coming in Vietnam where the realization that the wildlife trade poses has been known for well over a decade.Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)