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No. 147, 5th September 2014

1. Black Softshell Turtles Hatch in India

SOURCE: - DATE: 16th July 2014

The Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) is a critically endangered species endemic to North-eastern India and Bangladesh. It was long thought to exist in only one temple pond in Bangladesh. Fortunately, the species has been confirmed at a few spots in the Brahmaputra River drainage in the state of Assam and in some of the region's temple ponds.

Since 2013, TSA India has worked diligently to improve conditions at selected temple ponds in Assam where these turtles were discovered. TSA announced that so far, 44 turtles had hatched!

Link to this web article online (English)


2. Turtle Sampling Sessions Held in Texas and Florida

SOURCE: – DATE: 29 h August 2014

The North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group (NAFTRG) continued its amazing year with two large summer sampling sessions. In July, the group visited Comal Springs, in New Braunfels, Texas for the third time this year. The crew was able to capture and process 442 turtles, representing four species, over the course of three days. The August sampling of our Florida parks kicked off during the 12th Annual Symposium on the Conservation and Biology of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles, which was held in Orlando this year. The team captured 94 total turtles during those two days (6-7th of August 2014), including several Loggerhead Musk Turtle (Sternotherus minohngesr), which had not been captured in several years. Sampling moved on to Wekiwa Springs State Park from 11 th of August to 15 th of August. The team ended up catching 292 turtles at Wekiwa in four days of sampling bringing the total capture for Florida to 444 turtles for the summer session.

Link to this web article online (English)


© The Ledger

3. The USA: Tortoises Must Be Removed Before Davenport Water Tower Is Razed

SOURCE: – DATE: 27th August 2014

The city's landmark water tower will be demolished by the 12 th of December this year to make way for a 190-foot monopole, but first, a couple of cold-blooded residents must be relocated. The Lakeland Ledger reports that the city will have to pay $6,825 to remove what appears to be two gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). Gopher tortoises are considered threatened and are protected by state law. They must be removed before any land clearing or development occurs and property owners must obtain permits for their relocation from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

China: Boy hides turtle in underwear as he tries to slip past Chinese airport security

SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd September 2014

Airport security in Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China seized a turtle hidden in the underwear of an eight-year-old boy, the China Daily reported. The boy hid the turtle after his grandmother warned pets were not allowed in air travels, it said. Stringent security checks at the airport foiled the boy's travel plan for his turtle, which was seized by security officers but on the promise they'd take care of it until it was picked up by his parents.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

© J. Strother

5. The Philippines: Trial of Chinese Fishermen Highlights Tensions in South China Sea

SOURCE: – DATE: 3th September 2014

Nine Chinese fishermen will go on trial this week in the Philippines for allegedly poaching in Filipino territorial waters and catching a protected turtle species. Their arrest has angered the Beijing government, which says the fishermen were in China's territory. Some analysts say the trial highlights the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea.

The Philippines' National Police Special Boat Unit patrols the waters around the island province of Palawan. The United States gave Philippine authorities six fast ships to help fight various types of crime, as the unit's captain Osmundo Salito explains.  The maritime police say they picked up its crew of 11 Chinese nationals as well as 5 Filipino accomplices while catching endangered sea turtles.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

6. Ninh Thuan, Vietnam: “Midwives” of sea turtles

SOURCE: – DATE: 3 rd September 2014

At the Thit beach of Nui Chua National Park (Thai An village, Vinh Hai Commune, Hai Ninh Dist, Ninh Thuan city), a team of 12 volunteers were set up to assist sea turtles through labour. Locals often refer to the rescue team members as "midwives" of sea turtles. Three species of rare sea turtles has been observed nesting on the beach: Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) and Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). The rescue teams work from twilight to the dawn of the next morning. Their work ranges from inspecting the sand beach, monitoring the turtle nesting, to marking the nest. Sometimes, the “midwives” helps release the turtle into the sea when the mother turtles become stranded or face obstacles after laying their eggs. When the eggs hatch, the “midwives” also assit the baby sea turtles return to the sea. Since April 2014 (turtle nesting season often lasts from April to October each year in southern Vietnam), there have been 57 sea turtles nesting on Thit beach, of which 11 nests successfully hatched.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

© giao duc thoi dai


7. Canada: Exotic tortoise, native to southern Sahara desert, found on Burnaby Mountain

SOURCE: – DATE: 5th September 2014

Eddie' is an African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata), the third-largest species of tortoise in the world, native to the southern edge of the Sahara desert in northern Africa. He was recently found near Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain, British Columbia, Canada and brought to the Burnaby SPCA by a Good Samaritan.

Staff say Eddie is an example of why people should not own exotic pets who aren't native to B.C. Current exotic pet laws do not prohibit the sale of tortoises so Dubois says this story is just another example of why laws need to change.

An expert reptile veterinarian has been consulted and will be recommending a placement for Eddie, whom SPCA staff hope will eventually be re-homed in a sanctuary that caters to his species

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


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