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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 138, 4th July 2014



1. What does climate change mean for sea turtles?

SOURCE: theconversation.com – DATE: 23 rd June 2014

A recent study published in Nature Climate Change found that by altering the sex ratio of turtle populations in favour of females, climate change could lead to a population increase in the short term. Above a certain pivotal incubation temperature of 29 o C, the majority of sea turtle eggs produce female hatchlings, and vice versa. This pivotal temperature holds broadly for all sea turtle species and has presumably evolved to produce optimally balanced sex ratios. Warming temperatures may cause the feminisation of sea turtle populations through the production of only female hatchlings. In fact, warm incubation temperatures may have a short-term conservation benefit on the turtles, increasing the number of breeding females and hence the total size of the population.
While the recent research provides some useful insights into how climate might impact sea turtles, a host of questions remain. The long-term prognosis for sea turtles in a warming world is not necessarily good.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


© G. Schofield



© wpbf

2. The USA: Man sentenced to 24 months for removing endangered sea turtle eggs

SOURCE: wpbf.com – DATE: 26 th June 2014

Kenneth Cornelius Coleman, 52, of Riviera Beach, was sentenced Thursday to 24 months in prison for unlawfully transporting endangered sea turtle eggs in violation of the Lacey Act back in 2013, an official report said. In one instance last July, officers found a wooden stick that appeared to have been used to probe turtle nests and a canvas bag that contained 213 sea turtle eggs. The following day, officers found a backpack containing 97 eggs. DNA samples collected from the canvas bag matched the DNA profile that had previously been obtained from Coleman, prosecutors said. On the second day of the poaching discovery, officers also found Coleman in a nearby area of the beach. The eggs had a black market retail value of between $948 and $1,580. Coleman had previously pleaded guilty to sea turtle egg poaching in 2010. In that case, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

3. Nghe An province, Vietnam: Release a 20kg sea turtle hooked by fishing nets

SOURCE: vov.vn - DATE: 27 th June 2014

At about 4:30 on the 27 th of June 2014, while fishing on Dien Chau waters, Chu Van Tho (Kim Dien, Dien Chau, Nghe An) found a sea turtle weighing 20kg hooked in nets. After catching and bringing the turtle back home, he notified the local authorities. The turtle was identified as Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea), an endangered species in need of protection. That morning, the local authorities also advocated Tho to release the turtle in the sea.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

 


© CAND


© Mumbaimirror.com

4. India: Injured Olive Ridley rescued from ending up as lunch

SOURCE: Mumbaimirror.com – DATE: 27 th June 2014

An injured Olive Ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) was saved by locals at Kalam beach, Nalasopara, India, not only from death in the sea, but from ending up on the lunch plates of a few villagers, thanks to the efforts of several seaside residents. The Olive Ridley is categorised as 'vulnerable' on the IUCN's list of threatened species. The turtle was spotted at around 10 am on Thursday (the 26th of June), stranded on the beach and struggling to return to the water. Naturalist Mayur Kamath said the turtle's left flipper had sustained deep cuts, possible due to being stuck in fishing nets. "We will get vets to suture the cuts and then take it to Dahanu, where the forest department has provided a small shed for rescued Olive Ridleys ” he added.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. The United Arab Emirates: Jumeirah celebrates 10 years of turtle conservation

SOURCE: travelweekly.com.au – DATE: 27 th June 2014

Dubai-based hotel company Jumeirah Group celebrated the 10 th anniversary of its Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) by releasing 110 critically endangered hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) on World Sea Turtle Day. The turtles were rescued from the shores of the United Arab Emirates and nursed back to health by the DTRP, before being returned to the wild in the presence of Emirati school children and hotel guests. Since 2004, the DTRP has rescued 692 sea turtles, providing them with rehabilitation before returning them to the sea.

Link to this web article online (English)



© Travelweekly.com


6. India: 45 tortoises seized in Indore

SOURCE: business-standard.com – DATE: 27 th June 2014

As many as 45 tortoises being smuggled have been seized by the forest department at a bus stand in the city of Indore , Madhya Pradesh, India. However, no person was found near the bag in which the tortoises were stuffed. Meanwhile, the forest department has kept the tortoises at a local zoo. ATP NOTE: the species involved have still not been confirmed.

Link to this web article online (English)

7. The USA: 800-pound sea turtle rescued in New York

SOURCE: sciencerecorder.com - DATE: 30 th June 2014

An 800-pound (363kg) Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was tangled up in rope for several hours, off the coast of Gardiners Island in East Hampton before being rescued by marine biologists on Sunday, according to a Newsday report. Robert DiGiovanni, the executive director and senior biologist of the non-profit, Riverhead Foundation for marine Research and Preservation, said that he and his organisation found the turtle when they responded to a call from the U.S. Coast Guard. Leatherback sea turtles are listed as “vulnerable ”on the IUCN's endangered species list, and play an essential role in keeping populations of jellyfish in check.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

 

8. Malaysia: No benefit in turtle eggs

SOURCE: thesundaily.my – DATE: 30 th June 2014

Despite the fact that turtle eggs have no beneficial value, people in Sabah and Terengganu, Malaysia, especially the older generations are still downing it with delight. Disclosing this at a conservation awareness talk at Berjaya Tioman Resorts recently, Turtle Conservation Society of Malaysia (TCSM) co-founder Chen Pelf Nyok said these people continued to indulge in turtle eggs in the false belief that they have a high protein content, that they are good for the complexion and relieves asthma symptoms. ATP NOTE: despite the fact no such beneficial remedies have been proven. Due to this, she said the battle to save turtle eggs still remains an uphill task.

Link to this web article online (English)



© sciencerecorder


© thesundaily


9. The USA: Illegal turtle sales land Philadelphia man in jail on separate charge

SOURCE: lancasteronline.com – DATE: 30 th June 2014

A Philadelphia man was jailed after illegally selling baby turtles Saturday in East Lampeter Township, investigators said. He wasn ' t charged with an offence relating to the sales, however, but he was imprisoned because of an outstanding warrant for a weapons violation in another state. Joseph J. Reed, 38, had about 40 of the tiny reptiles — with shells about 1 inch in diameter — in individual plastic cages when police responded to the 1600 block of Lincoln Highway East at 3:40 p.m. Reed was selling the turtles for $10 each at a strip mall just east of Bridgeport, according to East Lampeter Township police. Federal regulations — enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — require that turtles have a shell length greater than 4 inches in order to be offered for sale.

Link to this web article online (English)


10. Vietnam: Recuse of a sea turtle at Cat Ba National Park

SOURCE: catba.com.vn – DATE: 1st July 2014

On the 29 th of June 2014, at about 15:00hrs, local people observed a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) stranding at Hon Chau area in Phu Long commune of Cat Hai district in Hai Phong province, Vietnam, according to ENV. The turtle weighed about 60 kg with the dimension of 115 cm x 75 cm. Shortly after the discovery of the sea turtle the local authorities were notified. After receiving information, the People's Committee of Phu Long Commune in cooperation with Cat Ba Islands Management Board recused and released the turtle into Lan Ha bay. The turtle appeared in perfectly healthy condition.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

11. Australia: Endangered tortoise gets ‘energetic' approach for rehabilitation

SOURCE: sciencewa.net.au – DATE: 2 nd July 2014

One of Australia's most critically endangered reptiles — the western swamp tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) is being researched using ecological energetic models that may also aid other threatened species. UWA postgraduate student Sophie Arnall is researching the western swamp tortoise (WST), not only in relation to biological factors but also using ecoenergetic modelling. The research is focused on exploring suitable environments for tortoises to be translocated under climate change — a process termed ‘assisted colonisation' . The longevity of the WST (approximate life span of 100 years) and low genetic diversity means the species is unlikely to adapt quickly to climate change. Ecoenergetic models will help scientists to predict which wetlands will best allow tortoises to survive and reproduce under hotter, drier climates.

Link to this web article online (English)


© Perth Zoo

 

12. Indonesia: East Java Villager Finds Tortoise Fossil

SOURCE: thejakartaglobe.com – DATE: 2nd July 2014

A local villager has discovered the remains of a prehistoric tortoise last week in Ngebung village, near the Sangiran Dome in Central Java, Indonesia, which was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1996 for an abundance of fossils. According to the Sangiran Prehistoric Site Conservation Agency (BPSMP), the find is very special as it is the first fossil of a tortoise discovered in the area. The fossil was found in good condition with almost 60 per cent of its parts still joined. “The nearly flat shell indicates that the prehistoric tortoise was of gigantic size compared to currently living tortoises. But we are still doing further studies to properly identify the species,” BPSMP conservation head Rusmulia Hidayat said. The shell fossil, which was more than half a meter in size, was discovered in the Kabuh layer by 50-year-old Suprapto while digging with a hoe. The tortoise is believed to have lived during that geological era, along with other prehistoric animals, including elephants, buffaloes, rhinoceros, crocodiles and turtles.

Link to this web article online (English)

 
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