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No. 165, 9th January 2015

1. Vietnam: Government calls for stronger enforcement and awareness communication efforts on wildlife protection during Tet holiday (Lunar New Year)

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) has issued Correspondence No. 5780/BTNMT-TCMT dated on the 29th of December, 2014, requesting relevant ministries, agencies, organizations and provincial authorities to conduct stronger enforcement and communication awareness activities for biodiversity conservation, especially focusing on endangered species prioritized for protection, during the upcoming traditional lunar New Year holiday.
This year’s correspondence was issued with a DVD comprising resources to support government officials in their communication efforts. It was also issued with a 2015 wall calendar as a Tet gift, which features inspiring photographs of some of the endangered wildlife species that are facing the highest threats from over-exploitation and illegal consumption in Vietnam, and relevant wildlife protection messages.
ATP NOTE: the calendar includes mentions some endangered turtle species such as Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons), Bourret’s box turtle (Cuora bourreti) and Southern Vietnamese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata), Chinese Three-striped Box Turtle (Cuora trifasciata), Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis), Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) and Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata).

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Monre calendar


Kemp's Ridley turtle


Kemp's Ridley turtle

© L. Delauncey

2. Rarest turtles in the world wash up in BRITAIN: Two reptiles are swept 5,000 miles from their home in the Gulf of Mexico by strong ocean currents
SOURCE: – DATE: 30th December 2014

Two of the rarest turtles in the world have been washed ashore on the west coast of Britain after being swept almost 5,000 miles from its usual home in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The juvenile Kemp's Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), which are critically endangered, were discovered on beaches in Merseyside and Cumbria, North West England. It is thought the dinner-plate sized reptiles had been left too weak to fight against the ocean currents by unusually cold weather in the Gulf of Mexico. One of the turtles has since died but the other is to be returned to the US.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. The topsy-turvy world of the tortoise: a smaller shell helps them to walk tall
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th January 2015

Scientists have long known that if you upturn a tortoise, it will find its feet again, thanks to a clever combination of shell shape and leg and neck manoeuvres, but according to a new study led by Ana Golubovic, a researcher from the University of Belgrade, larger Hermann Tortoises (Testudo hermanni) found in the Mediterranean are less capable of finding their feet than their smaller, more nimble relatives. To discover this, Ms Golubovic's team conducted rigorous fieldwork and flipped 118 Hermann tortoises on to their backs to see how quickly they would recover.

Link to this web article online (English)

Hermann tortoises


Diamond the turtle with broken shell

© K. Calderwood

4. Australia: Turtle timeline: Diamond's road to recovery after boat strike injury
SOURCE: – DATE: 5th January 2015

Diamond, the juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), has been in the Reef HQ Turtle Hospital since late November, recovering after a serious boat strike. The turtle was found in early November in the Port of Airlie, Queensland, Australia by Libby Edge from the Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre. It has a deep gash across its shell caused by a boat strike. The wound was so bad that part of the turtle's spine and a rib were exposed. On the 27th of November, Diamond was transported to the Townsville turtle hospital to receive long-term care, and now the turtle is in good spirits, eating well and working towards recovery.

Link to this web article online (English)


5. India: Turtle Festival' at Srikurmam to Kick Off Today
SOURCE: – DATE: 6th January 2015

The district administration has made elaborate arrangements for the first ever two-day ‘Turtle Festival’ to be started Tuesday at Srikurmam, a temple located in Srikurmam district, Andhra Pradesh, India. According to the endowments department the mythological temple, which worships Lord Maha Vishnu, conserves a large number of turtles on its premises. In order to create awareness on the importance of the conservation of turtles, the Endowments, Forest and Revenue departments are jointly organising the festival. Marking the two-day festival, the officials have planned several programmes including various competitions for school students, cultural programmes and a special ‘Turtle Walk’. A massive beach-cleaning programme has also been planned.

Link to this web article online (English)


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