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No. 12, 1st January 2012

Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam: Insight into the illegal trafficking of wildlife

SOURCE: - DATE: 27th December 2011

Nguyen Van Linh was arrested in Ha Tinh on December 26th while transporting 2 tons of wildlife, including turtles (from pictures ATP identified the turtles as Giant Asian pond turtles (Heosemys grandis) and Yellow headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii)), snakes, and lizards and transferred to the Department of Economical Police because he did not have a permission letter for the transport. All animals that were transported belong to category 2B of Decree 32/2006/ND-CP prohibiting their hunting or trade. Despite this Mr. Linh was not sentenced and the wildlife was auctioned off for a total of 370 million VND ($17.758). Although not clearly known some have speculated that the wildlife was most likely sold to restaurants in Northern Vietnam for consumption. This was one of three illegal wildlife cases in December.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 4 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

2. Vietnam: Soft-shell turtle's rescue and Java rhino's extinction fell into 10 most highlighted scientific events in 2011

SOURCE: - DATE: 26th December 2011

The Giant soft-shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in Hoan Kiem Lake was of great concern to the general public when the sacred animal was caught and underwent medical treatment required after decades living in the polluted water. This event raised the question of effective conservation for this individual, and the species in general, critically endangered but also of culturally importance to the Vietnamese people.
Also in this article on the 24th of October, following two years results have been analyzed on fecal samples of the Javan rhino in Cat Tien National Park, during collection of samples a dead rhino was found shot in the park. From the results it was concluded that the Javan rhino is extinct in Vietnam. WWF highlighted illegal hunting of the species as the sad cause behind the loss.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


3. Vietnam, Urgent: Sea turtle sanctuary needed

DATE: 27th December 2011

Sea turtls in Vietnam are seriously threatened by loss of their traditional nesting areas as a result of human's activity. Some examples are the Bai Dai nesting area (Cam Hai Dong commune, Cam Lam district, Khanh Hoa province) where officials planned to build a tourism complexes and Dam Tre (Nha Trang bay, Khanh Hoa province) which was allocated for specialized training of employees of the Khanh Hoa Bird Nest Company. This prompted the board of the Nha Trang marine sanctuary to convince the Peoples Committee of Khanh Hoa province to add the Dam Tre sea turtle nesting area to the sanctuary as a priority location for conserving sea turtles in the area.
Ms. Bui Thi Thu Hien, manager of the IUCN's ocean and coastal resource conservation program agreed support the Nha Trang marine sanctuary in their conservation efforts.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


4.  Vietnam: Hundreds of endangered turtles from Vietnam available in Chinese markets

SOURCE: Education for Nature Vietnam;
DATE: 28th December 2011

When a group of international scientists visited the notorious wildlife market in Guangzhou, China they discovered that out of Vietnam's 25 native turtle species 16 were offered for sale. Among these species the scientists found approximately 100 endemic Bourret's box turtles (Cuora bourreti) only found in central Vietnam and 100 Indochinese box turtles (Cuora galbinifrons) , thousands of Giant Asian pond turtles (Heosemys grandis), Yellow-headed temple turtles (Heosemys annandalii) , and olive ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea). The majority of these turtles were most likely traded from Vietnam as well as Laos and Cambodia. This discovery again shows the deficiencies of wildlife protection in Vietnam and lax border security. It should urge authorities to enforce wildlife protection laws in Vietnam and increase patrols and inspections along wildlife trafficking trade routes and boarder crossings.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

India: Turtle poaching rampant in Chambal

SOURCE: - DATE: 28th December 2011

Once the monsoon season in India comes to an end, native turtles start moving to ponds and other smaller water bodies from paddy fields. The people from the Kanjar tribe trap these turtles in fishing nets and bury them underneath the ground. Later, they are sent to Kolkata via roads and trains, where turtles are in demand for traditional medicine. In India, as well as many other Asian countries, people believe that this traditional medicine can cure a variety of different diseases. Authorities plan to put a halt to this inhuman slaughtering of turtles by declaring the 425km stretch in Chambal a turtle sanctuary. Thus, the area will be protected under the Wildfife Protection Act-1972 which prohibits capturing, killing or selling Indian flapshell turtles (Lissemys punctata).

Link to this web article online (English)

Hanoi city, Vietnam: The soft-shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in Hoan Kiem lake enjoys flower beds on the lake

SOURCE: - DATE: 30th December 2011

The soft shell turtle in the Hoan Kiem lake was seen coming up to the surface around 12.30am and slowly swimming along the surface giving many young people an opportunity to witness the turtle. A sign many older Hanoian's believe to be a blessing that will bring good luck. Hanoi's Hoan Kiem lake is looking much greener with the addition of floating beds of plants placed in the lake in an attempt to improve water quality for the turtle.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


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