Asian Turtle Program
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No. 160, 5th December 2014

1. Vietnam: Hoan Kiem lake turtle emerged, people rushed to see
SOURCE: – DATE: 3rd December 2014
On the morning of the 2nd of December 2014, the Hoan Kiem lake turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) emgered and appoarched the bank near Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hanoi for about 20 minutes. The turtle’s emergence attracted a large crowd come to see and photograph the turtle.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link to clip (Vietnamese)

© Vnexpress

2. Thailand: Bangkok market hub of illegal trade in endangered tortoises from around the world
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th December 2014
A new study shows that Bangkok’s Chatuchak market—one of Southeast Asia’s largest wild pet trading centres—has been home to a sustained and illegal trade in highly threatened tortoises and freshwater turtles with consequences far beyond its borders.

Data from a dozen surveys in this market documented 2,667 individual tortoises and turtles in trade between November 2004 and December 2013. In terms of species, the most common were the Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans)(653 individuals), African Spurred Tortoise (Centrochelys sulcat) (536) and Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata)(320). African Spurred Tortoise is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, and Radiated Tortoise is listed as Critically Endangered.

Link to this web article online (English)

Radiated tortoise
Xu Ling

3. Australia: Creating a garden that's terrific for turtles
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd November 2014
Landscape designer Phillip Johnson was the first Australian to win Best Show Garden at Chelsea Flower Show in 2013, in partnership with Fleming’s nurseries. Johnson’s design practice, based in Melbourne, specialises in landscapes that connect with nature in a sustainable way and this is the subject of his first book, Connected. In the book, Johnson explains through a series of case studies how he designs gardens that provide habitat for wildlife, chemical-free pools and sustainable planting. In this excerpt, he builds a turtle habitat in a suburban Melbourne backyard.

Link to this web article online (English)

Garden for turtle
© Philip Johnson

seizure at turtle warehouse


4. Vietnam: Proposing prosecution of the sea turtle traders
SOURCE: – DATE: 24th November 2014
The Environment Police Agency and Khanh Hoa Province’s police have found thousands of dead highly endangered sea turtles in two warehouses of a fine-art enterprise in the village of Phuoc Loi of Nha Trang City. Residents of Phuoc Dong Commune said the shop owner had been smuggling sea turtles for about 10 years.
Nguyen Thi Phuong Dung, deputy director of Education for Nature-Vietnam (ENV), the agency that informed the police of the smuggling, said the police's quick response showed an effort to protect endangered wild animals. But more effort from the people's court was needed, she said.

Link to this web article online (English)

white throated snapping turtle

© S. Zozaya

5. Australia: Bum-breathing turtles 'at risk of extinction'
SOURCE: – DATE: 28th November 2014
Urgent action is required to prevent an endangered turtle that breathes through its bottom from being wiped out, a researcher of the species has warned.
The White-throated Snapping Turtle (Elseya albagula) was recently listed as critically endangered by the federal government amid fears that loss of eggs and hatchlings is crippling the population. A James Cook University researcher has warned that the species is losing almost all of its eggs and hatchlings in one of its last strongholds in Queensland, around the Fitzroy, Mary and Burnett river catchments.
Jason Schaffer said the turtles have suffered from a restriction in water movement due to the construction of dams, as well as from sediment and erosion caused by agriculture and mining. Turtle nests have also been ravaged by feral animals, many of them introduced species.

Link to this web article online (English)

6. Vietnam: Confiscated wildlife is dying at Customs Warehouse
SOURCE: – DATE: 1st December 2014
On the 27th of November, border guard in coordination with Lao Bao border gate customs, Quang Tri province checked and discovered a large number of wildlife being transported to Vietnam in a car registered in Laos. The wildlife, including 36 kg of pangolin, 32.5 kg snake, 1 kg of turtle and 15.5 kg of softshell turtles are splitted into lots and subtly hidden in the luggage compartment. However, instead of being transferred to functional agencies to be release into the wild, the confiscated wildlifes still laid “dying” at the warehouse of Lao Bao border gate customs on the afternoon of the 31st of December. The  120.5kg of confiscated animals are believed to have originated in Laos so customs is responsible for taking care of them.

ATP NOTE: The turtle and softshell turtle species are still unknown

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

confiscated wildlife stored at customs warehouse

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