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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 127, 18th April 2014



1. Malacca state, Malaysia: The Worldwide Fund for Nature to re-float Malacca turtle sanctuary plan

SOURCE: nst.com.my
DATE: 14th April 2014

Proposal to gazette parts of the coast along the Straits of Malacca as a turtle sanctuary was first proposed in 2012 . The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), via the Malacca Fisheries Department, is planning to resend the proposal to the state government as efforts were being made to secure these beaches as nesting habitats for hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata).

WWF team leader Lau Min Min said half of the country's population of hawksbill turtles nested in Malacca, and there was a need to gazette certain beaches. Pulau Upeh Island is the largest hawksbill turtle nesting ground in Peninsular Malaysia, and the second largest in the country after the Sabah Turtle Island. Besides Pulau Upeh, other locations identified as hawksbill landing spots are the beach between Tanjung Bidara and Kuala Linggi, Padang Kemunting, Kem Terendak, Parit Batu, Pasir Gembur, Tanjung Serai, Meriam Patah, and Tanjung Dahan. This year, the Fisheries Department has recorded 59 nests and collected 8,725 hawksbill eggs. The figure is expected to increase during the peak nesting season, between April and September.

Link to this web article online (English)


© nst.com.my


2. Nevada, USA : Federal Agents Provoke Range War Over Fees And A Turtle

SOURCE: infowars.com
DATE: 15th April 2014

The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is a roughly foot-long creature with a lifespan that can stretch to more than half-a-century. This turtle inhabits the Mojave Desert in America's great southwest. However, the innocuous desert tortoise has the curious attribute of being able provoke nearly open warfare between U.S. citizens and the federal government.
On the 8th of April more than 200 armed federal agents and snipers were deployed to forcibly remove the cattle of a Nevada rancher - signalling a dangerous escalation in the two-decade long constitutional land dispute over the endangered desert tortoise. Cliven Bundy, the last rancher in Clark County, Nevada, has been battling the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) since 1993 when he refused to pay for the right to graze on the 2428km2 Gold Butte land he says his family have owned since the 1870s. The BLM's ongoing dispute with cattle rancher Cliven Bundy has supposedly been waged over unpaid grazing fees. Bundy's cattle are said to have grazed in protected areas regulated to preserve endangered species, chiefly the desert tortoise. Later it was made public that the BLM had actually been euthanising scores of endangered tortoises, as well as releasing some into the wild, in advance of closing the doors to the Desert Tortoise Conservation Centre, which they claim lacked funding. Since the start of the conflict, Bundy has asserted that the cattle he grazes actually benefit the desert tortoise population. “I'll never get it. If it weren't for our cattle, there'd be more brush fires out here. The tortoises eat the cow manure, too. It's filled with protein,” Bundy stated. It turns out, he's right, according to one range expert. Writing for the journal Rangelands in 1990, range ecology expert Vernon Bostick made an outstanding case for the desert tortoise's dependent relationship on grazing livestock. Beginning with the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, which reduced grazing land use by about 50 percent, the federal government's increased regulation of grazing lands, Bostick argues, actually makes them directly culpable for the decline of the desert tortoise population.
Now, with the federal agents removing Bundy's cattle it seems there will be two loosing parties in the dispute.

ATP NOTE: The BLM's website states that Desert Tortoise Conservation Centre will close in December 2014 and sick animals will be euthanised. However, the US Fish and Wildlife Service desert tortoise recovery coordinator said that of approx. 1400 desert tortoises held at the centre 50-60% are sick and this is actually a large number of animals to be euthanised.


Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Link 3 to this web article online (English)



© Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image


© AP


3. Dungun District, Terengganu State, Malaysia: Annual rate of turtle fatalities is worrying

SOURCE: bernama.com
DATE: 15th April 2014

The number of turtle fatalities in Terengganu State each year is worrying, with six found dead during the nesting season between January to April this year. According to the Director of the Terengganu Fisheries Department, Abdul Khalil Abdul Karim, four of these were of the Green Sea Turtle species (Chelonia mydas) , while two were the Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) . He told that last year, 42 turtles were found dead in Terengganu waters, compared to 33 in 2012, 22 in 2011, 20 in 2010 and 29 in 2009. Investigations showed that the cause of the turtles' deaths was entanglement in fishing nets and hooks.

Link to this web article online (English)




4. Semporna District , Sabah State, Malaysia : Four more endangered sea turtles found killed

SOURCE: thestar.com.my
DATE: 16th April 2014

Four more sea turtles have been killed and left floating at sea in the waters off Semporna district in Sabah State's east coast. The carcasses of the endangered species were spotted floating in waters between Bum Bum Island and Kulapuan Island by a Fisheries Department staff member. The latest killings come hardly a month after the discovery of 50 dead turtles in Pulau Tiga Island in the northern Kudat district, a case that remains unsolved. Sabah Wildlife Department and WWF-Malaysia has initiated an investigation into the latest deaths of the sea turtles in Semporna. Universiti Malaysia Sabah academician and researcher Dr James Alin, who discovered and highlighted the Pulau Tiga killings last month, said such deaths were not uncommon in the area off Semporna. On the latest incident, he said the suspicion would either fall on seaweed farmers, fishermen or the foreign crew of deep-sea trawlers operating under joint venture companies in Sabah waters.

Link to this web article online (English)

 


5. Northern Territory, Australia : Turtle rescued from illegal fishing boat

SOURCE: Fishing World Latest News
DATE: 7th April 2014 Fishing World Online News recently heard a story of a large hawksbill turtle found on board an illegal fishing boat. According to seaturtle.org the live 32kg female hawksbill turtle ( Eretmochelys imbricata ) had been speared was discovered swimming in the bilge of a Vietnamese fishing vessel apprehended by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) near Evans Shoal in March 2014 and being held in Darwin harbour. After a brief recovery period in Darwin's Ark Animal Hospital at Palmerston the Department of Land Resource Management scientists and Parks and Wildlife rangers attached a satellite tag and released the turtle back to the sea.

Link to this web article online (English)




© thestar.com.my

© Wikipedia


6. Vienna, Austria : Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies

SOURCE: Austrian Times Online
DATE: 16th April 2014

An endangered Northern River Terrapin (Batagur Baska) from Schoenbrunn Zoo is taking a trip across the world to try his luck out with two female turtles in India. The two female Northern River Terrapins have been on the search for a breeding mate for nearly 18 months now and employees at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust near Chennai are hoping the 30 year old from Vienna will be able to help out. The turtle is one of the most endangered fresh water species in the world and the zoo in India is the only place in the country that holds them. It is considered a delicacy in Cambodia and has been hunted to near extinction through the region. There are at least twenty of this rare species in Schoenbrunn Zoo. The Austrian visitor arrived in India early Wednesday morning and will be quarantines for up to 90 days before meeting his new friends. "This is to ensure that he acclimatizes to our temperatures and will also allow us time to do the health checks," says the vet at the Crocodile Bank Trust Gowri Mallapur.

Link to this web article online (English)



© Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image


 
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