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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 168, 30th January 2015


1. Chinese Customs Seizes Over 1,000 Exotic Reptiles
SOURCE: sina.com  – DATE: 16th January 2015

Over 1,000 exotic reptiles were seized by customs officials on the 25th of December 2014, in the southern city of Shenzhen, China. The animals hidden in boxes inside a truck were composed of 1,002 Siebenrock's Snake-necked Turtles (Chelodina siebenrocki), six Asian Brown Tortoises (Manouria emys), 23 Leopard Tortoises (Psammobates pardalis), 99 Blue-tongued Skinks (Tiliqua sp.) and 62 Green Tree Frogs (Litoria caerulea). Two of the species, the Asian Brown Tortoise and the Leopard Tortoise, are considered endangered species and are currently under government protection. 
Upon questioning, the truck driver admitted that he is a smuggler who deals in endangered species trade and that his cargo was supposed to be transported to mainland China. He further admitted that he apparently makes lots of profits selling the animals either online or directly to customers as exotic pets.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

1000 tortoises seizured

© yibada.com

2. Malaysia: TEDs put an end to incidental captures of turtles in nets

SOURCE: thestar.com.my – DATE: 19th January 2015
Every year, thousands of turtles get trapped in fishing nets and eventually drown, as they cannot surface to breathe. One way to stop this turtle massacre is by fitting nets with a special device that provides the trapped turtle with an escape route. After years of trials and discussions, use of this gadget known as turtle excluder devices (TEDs) will soon become a reality in Malaysian fisheries.
By 2017, shrimp trawl fishermen in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia will have to use TEDs in their operations during the monsoon, from November until March. The Fisheries Department will introduce a regulation requiring use of TEDs before fishermen can be issued permits for monsoon shrimp trawling, according to Syed Abdullah Syed Abdul Kadir, head of the Endangered Marine Species Research Centre in Rantau Abang, Terengganu, Malaysia.
He says the new rule will initially target east coast fishermen because of turtle populations in the seas there. The monsoon season is when shrimps are abundant and when shrimp trawlers get special permits to fish inshore, areas where turtles are usually found. (Outside of the monsoon season, fishermen can only trawl beyond five nautical miles from shore.) The TED ruling will eventually be implemented nation-wide.

Link to this web article online (English)

TED saves turtles

© thestar.com.my

softshell turtle smuggling© vov.vn

3. Vietnam, Bac Giang province: A case of illegal transportation of wildlife products
SOURCE: vov.vn – DATE: 22nd January 2014

Traffic Police, under Bac Giang provincial police, have seized a car which was illegally transporting various wildlife products. During inspection, authorities detected a piece of horn (the driver said that it was rhino horn) weighing 358 g, 10 packs of horse bone glue, two tiger teeth and 9kg of soft-shell turtles.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

black pond turtle

© AVA

4.Singapore: Man jailed for smuggling 190 endangered turtles

SOURCE: todayonline.com – DATE: 23rd January 2015

A 42-year-old Indian national was sentenced to 19 months jail total for animal cruelty and the smuggling of 190 endangered turtles through Singapore, said the Agri-Food &Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) in a statement on the 23rd of January.
The man had attempted to smuggle three luggage bags stuffed with the live turtles at Changi Airport, Singapore on the 7th of January 2015. He was detained by Certis CISCO aviation security officers after 190 Black Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) were found in the bags. The turtles — which are critically endangered— are estimated to be worth almost S$100,000 ($US 74,054), and are believed to be in high demand in the exotic pet trade.
When found, the turtles were severely dehydrated and in “very poor condition”, the AVA said. The turtles were subsequently sent to Wildlife Reserves Singapore to be monitored. However, all 190 turtles died, or had to be put down due to welfare considerations, the AVA said.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. USA. Bristol Aggie students to the rescue of endangered Chinese box turtles
SOURCE: thesunchronicle.com – DATE: 23rd January 2015

Students at Bristol County Agricultural High School (Dighton, Massachusetts, the USA) are helping to save a rare species of turtle, the Chinese Box Turtle (Cuora flavomarginata), as part of the schools latest conservation project.
The project, conducted by the natural resource management department in cooperation with the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), involves students raising the turtles until they are mature enough to breed - usually about five years. Raising young animals until they are large enough that they are less vulnerable to predators and other risks is called "head-starting."
The Chinese Box Turtle is facing extinction in China and Southeast Asia because of the high demand for turtles as food and the destruction of habitat.

Link to this web article online (English)

endangered turtle

© Bristol County Agricultural High School

 

turtle museum

© Straits Times

6. Singapore: Murky future for turtle museum as area redevelops
SOURCE: news.asiaone.com – DATE: 25th January 2015

Singapore's only turtle and tortoise museum may soon have to close its doors for good, if its owner cannot find another location when its lease expires at the end of this year.
Now at the Chinese Garden in Jurong, Singapore, the Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum is home to more than 500 turtles, tortoises and terrapins from 49 species, many of them endangered. But the animals, including rare species like the Pig-nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta) and the African Spurred Tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), could become homeless when Chinese Garden and its surroundings are redeveloped into a larger Jurong Lake Gardens.

Link to this web article online (English)

7. Attempted Smuggling of Over 7,600 Rare Baby Turtles Foiled in Indonesia
SOURCE: annamiticus.com – DATE: 27th January 2015

During a span of less than one week, Indonesian authorities have seized two massive hauls of protected Pig-nosed Turtles (Carettochelys insculpta) totaling 7,634 individuals.
The first incident occurred on January 17 when 2,350 Pig-nosed Turtles were seized in Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport. They were headed for Shang Hai, China, via Singapore, in boxes labelled as “mangrove crabs”. Just five days later, 5,284 Pig-nosed Turtles were confiscated in Bali at the Ngurah Rai airport, where they arrived on a flight from Mozes Kilangin airport in Timika, Papua, Indonesia. Three passengers were detained and questioned by police.
“The seizure is timely and stands as one example of a worrying illegal trade between wildlife-rich Indonesia and large consumer markets in China,” says Dr Chris R. Shepherd, Regional Director of TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia. “It is highly unlikely that Pig-nosed Turtles can withstand such enormous off take.”
Pig-nosed Turtles are totally protected by Indonesia’s national legislation, and are listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Pig-nosed Turtle is classified Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

pig-nosed turtle

© R. Lilley

8. Vietnam, Stepping up Wildlife Protection at Vietnam’s Airports

SOURCE: the Biodiversity Conservation Agency of Vietnam’s Environment Administration – DATE: 28th January 2015

More than 70 Vietnamese airport officials took part in a new global training program in Hanoi on the 28th of January 2015, to help stop illegal wildlife trafficking through airports.
The Wildlife Friendly Skies workshop, organized by the Biodiversity Conservation Agency of Vietnam’s Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in partnership with Freeland Foundation in partnership, and the Northern Airport Authority of Vietnam, focused on commercial flight routes connecting Vietnam to other wildlife source, transit and consumer countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
Trainers of the workshop, who are law enforcement and wildlife experts, presented real case studies to illustrate the scale and seriousness of wildlife smuggling. Trainers also provided tips on how to identify wildlife species and products, how to profile traffickers and examples of smuggling methods.  ATP NOTE: hopefully the training will be successful in reducing smuggling of wildlife including turtles through the airport.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

9. Da Nang city, Vietnam: Local people rushing to hunt for wild turtles
SOURCE:  nguoiduatin.vn – DATE: 28th January 2015

In recent days, hundreds of local residents in Hoa Phu Commune, Hoa Vang district, Da Nang city, went to Ho Cau area of Hoa Phu commune, to catch wild turtles and then sell them to traffickers at high prices. Recently for unknown reasons the prices of the Chinese Stripe-necked Turtle (Mauremys sinensis) has risen rapidly to VND10 million ($468) per kg. Following the report Da Nang city’s Forest Protection Department (FPD) sent a task force to the area to encourage local people not to collect those turtles.
Chinese Stripe-necked Turtles are listed in Appendix III on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and classified Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  ATP NOTE: hunting of the species and the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) have intensified in recent months due to the increasing value in these species. In some provinces authorities have tried to stop trapping, in Da Nang and Quang Ngai province but this is likely to be a continuing problem threatened the species.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

© nguoiduatin.vn

 

 
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