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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 134, 5 th June 2014



1. Odisha, India: Look Who's Helping Olive Ridley

SOURCE: ipsnews.net – DATE: 27 th May 2014

Despite cheek-by-jowl proximity with over 6,000 people in three fishing villages, the 4.5-kilometre-long Rushikulya river mouth rookery in eastern India's Odisha state has become a steady favourite of the nesting Ridley. Rushikulya hosted about 300,000 of the total 694,000 Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea), categorised as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), that nested in Odisha in 2013. Community conservation efforts are being credited for the increasing mass nesting at Rushikulya. With the help of local school students, Rushikulya's fisherwomen's collectives clear the site of discarded fishnets, glass, hard plastic pieces, branches and polythene bags. Moreover, since 2004, the Odisha government's annual fishing ban from November to May to protect the Olive Ridley has reduced their incidental mortality by half.

Link to this web article online (English)

hatchling olive ridley turtles

© Bivash Pandav

2. India: India celebrates World Turtle Day

SOURCE: turtlesurvival.org – DATE: 28 th June 2014

TSA India celebrated World Turtle Day in a big way! Events were organised across various TSA conservation projects sites to mark the occasion and to raise awareness about turtles. The TSA conducted a “Turtle Safari,” in which 25 participants from different parts of the country travelled to the Chambal River to visit the field programs conducted by TSA. Additionally, We are in peril” (an education program) was conducted for 50 village children at the Garhaita Turtle Survival Centre.

Another awareness event was hosted at the Nagshankar temple in Assam, where the TSA is engaged in a project to conserve the endangered Black-softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) and the Assam Roofed Turtle (Pangshura sylhetensis). Lastly, the TSA India team organised a tour for 35 students, accompanied by eight teachers from seven different higher secondary riverside schools. In total, the day's activities impacted more than 500 people of various ages and backgrounds and were widely covered by both electronic and print media.

Link to this web article online (English)

India Turtle day

© TSA

recuse sick turtle

© J. Verrall


3. Cleveland, Australia: Teens save turtle from death

SOURCE: baysidebulletin.com.au – DATE: 2 nd June 2014

A SEA turtle in Cleveland has been spared a slow and painful death thanks to the quick actions of a group of local teenagers. The group of Jessica Verrall, Shanae Austin, Patrick Eveans, Mathew Hodgson, Braedon Poole and Troy Wise, all 15, rescued a sick turtle off Oyster Point, Cleveland last Saturday afternoon. They carried the animal to Jessica mother's nearby home, phoned Redlands Wildlife Rescue and put the turtle in a wheelbarrow and covered it with a wet towel. Redlands 24-hour Wildlife Rescue volunteers took the turtle to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, where it was later euthanized. An RSPCA spokesman said the turtle had a stomach infection that had impaired its ability to dive for food and that had the teenagers not rescued the creature when they did, it would have suffered a slow death by starvation.

Link to this web article online (English)


4. Tam Dao, Viet Nam: Wildlife publicly traded in Tam Dao

SOURCE: laodong.com.vn – DATE: 3 rd June 2014

A large number of wildlife is publicly traded in the streets and restaurants in Tam Dao town (Tam Dao district, Vinh Phuc province, Vietnam) which lays within Tam Dao National Park. Despite this the local authorities have failed to take any measures to address the issue. “All the wildlife is from Tam Dao forest, not captivating places”, claimed sellers. The traded animals include monitors, turtles, and bamboo rats. Especially, two endangered turtle species: Black-breasted leaf turtle (Geoemyda spengleri) and Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii ) were observed and identified from photographs.

ATP NOTE: Both Black-breasted leaf turtle (Geoemyda spengleri) and Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii) are listed as Endangered by the IUCN (2013).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Geoemyda spengleri

© laodong

turtle wrapped in tape

© TSA


5. Madagascar: Largest Tortoise Confiscation in Madagascar's History

SOURCE: turtlesurvival.org – DATE: 3 rd June 2014

On the evening of the 2 nd of June, Air Madagascar Flight MD 151 from Hahaya Airport returned 968 tortoises to Madagascar, after they were confiscated in the Comoros Islands. The group was comprised of all Radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata), with the exception of one Ploughshare tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora). All of them are juveniles and the smuggler used eight suitcases to transport the Critically Endangered species. To minimise the tortoises' movement, the smugglers taped each animal into its shell, which is typical of the cruel conditions to which most confiscated tortoises are exposed.

The TSA team in Madagascar has been given the monumental task of returning as many of these tortoises to the wild as possible, under our comprehensive "Confiscated to Reintroduction" strategy. They are currently working as quickly as possible to assess each animal's condition and minimise losses. More than 20 were found dead during the team's initial assessment and this number is likely to increase in the coming days, given the deplorable conditions in which they were transported.

Link to this web article online (English)


6. Senegal, West Africa: Turtles Seized in Senegal

SOURCE: turtlesurvival.org – DATE: 3 rd June 2014

A group of 12 turtles were seized in late May at the airport of Dakar LLS and assigned to the TSA Africa team by the CITES authorities of Senegal. The group was comprised of four African softshell turtles (Trionyx tringuis), four Home's hinge-back tortoises (Kinixys homeana), two Serrated hinge-back tortoises (Kinixys erosa) and two West African mud turtles (Pelusios castaneus).   The turtles came from Nigeria bound for Europe, and didn't have the proper health papers required for transit. The turtles cannot be returned to the wild, as their origin is unknown. Instead they will contribute to the conservation of their species as part of captive assurance colonies currently being managed by TSA Africa.

Link to this web article online (English)

 


7. Philippines: Chinese poachers target Hawksbill turtles

SOURCE: wildsingaporenews.blogspot.com – DATE: 4 th June 2014

The massive fishing operations of Chinese ships in the South China Sea could make the local population of sea turtles and giant clams extinct. Chinese fishermen are believed to be the top poachers not only in the Philippines but in the waters of other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. Their targets are Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricate), called “pawikan” locally. From 2008 up to early this year, there have been 16 cases of marine turtle poaching, with only a single conviction in court. In November 2012, Chinese fishermen eluded arrest and dumped 130 sea turtles that were eventually released by the Philippine Marines in Balabac's Onuk Island. “In the international arena, all species of sea turtles and giant clams are endangered. Both are also protected by Philippine laws and regulations. It is forbidden to catch, collect, or display them, dead or alive” , said Ditto Dela Rosa Jr., a research specialist with expertise in marine biology.


Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Link 3 to this web article online (English)

turtle seizure in Senegal

© TSA
giant clam

© Emie Ramoso

 
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