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No. 156, 7th November 2014

1. Vietnam: release of 10kg sea turtle to the sea

SOURCE: – DATE: 27th October 2014

On the 26th of October 2014, under the witness of representatives of Nghi Xuan District’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and commune leaders, Nguyen Viet Luc living in Xuan Truong commune, Nghi Xuan district and Ha Tinh province, north central Vietnam released 10-kg Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) to the sea.
Earlier, Luc had found the turtle stranded in a sewer in the drainage system of Xuan Truong commune and taken it home.  The turtle was 50 cm in length and 10 kg in weight.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


2. U.S. To Monitor Turtle Exports In Face of Booming Global Trade

SOURCE: – DATE: 30th October 2014

The recent case in which a Chinese-Canadian man was caught trying to leave the United States with 51 turtles hidden in his sweatpants has illustrated the serious threat facing native species in the United States from the booming international turtle trade, federal scientists said on Thursday.
To protect native species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a rule on Wednesday that would put four kinds of freshwater turtle under the protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), the Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox), the Smooth Softshell Turtle (Apalone mutica) and the Spiny Softshell Turtle (Apalone spinifera), none of which are endangered yet, would be subject to a CITES rule that would let federal authorities begin collecting export data to determine whether limits on harvesters are warranted.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. India: 275 Tortoises Seized From Train in Bihar

SOURCE: - DATE: 2nd November 2014

275 tortoises, including those of endangered species, were seized from a Kolkata-bound train in Bihar,  Northern India by the Government Railway Police (GRP) and one person has been arrested.
In an operation conducted at Bakhtiyarpur and Mokama stations, 275 tortoises, kept in seven luggage bags, were recovered from different compartments of the Upper India Express last night, Rail SP Prakash Nath Mishra said.
The GRP has handed over the creatures to the state wildlife authorities so they could be kept alive. Patna Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Gopal Singh said there were four different species in the seized ones. Two of them, Indian Narrow-headed Softshell Turtle (Chitra indica) and Indian Roofed Turtle (Kachua tecta), were endangered. The DFO said the tortoises would be kept at Eco Park in the state capital for some time and would be released in rivers or lakes according to their adaptability.

Link to this web article online (English)

90 million year turtle fossil

R. Zielinski

4. The USA: Hiker Finds Fossilised Turtle Dating Back 90 Million Years

SOURCE: - DATE: 5th November 2014

Jeff Dornbusch knew there was something odd about a pile of grey rocks he spotted more than a decade ago during a hike in the southern New Mexico desert, and a closer look confirms that he was right. Dornbusch, a museum volunteer in Truth or Consequences, N.M., relocated those rocks in 2012 and notified local scientists, who identified the rocks as fragments of a 90-million-year-old turtle fossil, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported. Since then, researchers have returned to the site where the rocks were found and excavated the rest of the turtle.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

5. Researchers discover new genus of giant tortoise

SOURCE: - DATE: 6th November 2014

These days it is dominated by shops and throngs of people. But millions of years ago, Madrid’s Gran Via belonged to herds of 2-metre-long tortoises. That’s the conclusion of a study published by Spanish and Greek researchers in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Wrapping up a 10-year study, researchers describe a genus of giant tortoises, previously unknown to science, that lived in Europe and western Asiabetween 20m and 2m years ago.
“We’re not just talking about any tortoise; this is the largest that lived in Europe, whose size likely exceeded that of the tortoises living today in the Galapagos Islands,” said researcher Adán Pérez-García, of Spain’s National University of Distance Education and the University of Lisbon.
The Titanochelon – a name inspired by their titanic size – was short, wide and strong, and its large shell was covered with ossified scales for protection, he said.

Link to this web article online (English)

6. Vietnam: Two men were fined for storing and transporting wildlife

SOURCE: – DATE: 6th November 2014

On the 2nd of November, 2014,  Dak Nong Province’s Ranger Manoeuvre Team 1 detected a 17-seat bus (No 103 SB-48B, controlled by Dao Xuan Huan), transporting two Asiatic Softshell Turtles (Amyda cartilaginea). The turtles weighing 16 kilograms in total belonged to Pham Van Sach living in village 2, Quang Son commune, Dak Nong province.
The rangers confiscated and documented the animals and fined Pham Van Sach VND 15 million ($750) for illegally storing and trafficking wildlife, fined Dao Xuan Huan VND 15 million ($750) for illegally transporting wildlife, the 17-seat bus is also being held while the case is settled.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)



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