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No. 170, 13th February 2015

1. Myanmar: Burmese Roofed Turtles Return Home
SOURCE: – DATE: 29th January 2015

In 2007, Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society-Myanmar Program (WCS), launched an ambitious program to rescue the endemic Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata) from the brink of extinction. Considered the second-most critically endangered turtle in the world, the remaining wild Burmese Roofed Turtles are confined to a remote stretch of the Upper Chindwin River in Myanmar where fewer than ten adult females cling precariously to survival.

Thanks to TSA/WCS staffs’ effort, in early 2015, almost 200 head-started turtles (hatched at Yadanabon Zoo, Mandalay, Myanmar in 2007) were available to be released to the Chindwin River. However, the only hitch was to get them from Mandalay to Limpha, a distance of over 350 miles. On the 16th of January, WCS and TSA staffs began packing the turtles for shipment. Then after four days of travel, the turtles – all 160 of them – were safely ensconced in two large concrete grow-out ponds, constructed in the Fall of 2014 at the basecamp in Limpha village. Some of these are destined for release very soon, while others will serve as founders for another assurance colony currently under construction in Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary. Hopefully, the Burmese Roofed Turtle will be restored as a functional member of the remote riverine landscape of the Chindwin River

Link to this web article online (English)

Burmese Roofed turtle


2. Vietnam: Wildlife confiscated in Binh Thuan provinces
SOURCE: – DATE: 1st February 2015

On the 29th of January 2015, the mobile ranger team of Tanh Linh Forest Protection Department (FPD), Binh Thuan province arrested Vo Viet Tien who was illegally transporting wildlife from Da Mi commune (Ham Thuan Bac district, Binh Thuan province) to Tanh Linh district of Binh Thuan province. Of 26 animals confiscated (weighing 39.7kg in total), 13 were live including one large Indian civet (Viverra zibetha), one soft-shell turtle, and 11 bamboo rats; and the rest were found dead which included one Three-striped Palm Civet (Arctogalidia trivirgata), two Common Palm Civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) , one Brush-tailed Porcupine (Atherurus macrourus), and nine mouse deer. ATP NOTE: There was no information of the soft-shell turtle species. Two days after the seizure, the 13 remaining animals were also dead. These animals were stored in of Tanh Linh FPD to be destroyed later.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


death hawksbill found
Phe Nguyen

3. Nghe An province, Vietnam: 100kg death Hawksbill sea turtles found ashore
SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd February 2014

At about 16h00 on the 1st of February 2015, villagers in Quynh Nghia Commune, Quynh Luu District, Nghe An province witnessed a death Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) weighing nearly 100kg. The turtle was decomposing. The villagers reported the case to local authorities. On the morning of the 2nd of February, local residents and the local authorities held a funeral to bury the turtle following local custom.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


4. India: More turtles die in fishing nets

SOURCE: – DATE: 8th February 2015
Activists belonging to TREE Foundation and Students’ Sea Turtle Conservation Network (SSTCN) are agitated with the death of hundreds of sea turtles from January. The turtles get caught in various nets, including ray fish nets, gill nets and trawling nets, because fishermen do not use turtle excluder devices.
Supraja Dharini of TREE Foundation says many villages in Kancheepuram district, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India  use ray fish nets ( thiruka valai ), resulting in the deaths of turtles. “We have a specific report of Semmenchery villagers (in Kancheepuram district, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) using nets and we have seen 24 dead turtles in the past two days. Despite an agreement to not use ray nets, the villagers still use them,” she said.

Link to this web article online (English)

turtles caught in fish net

© Special Arrangement

5. India: Gujarat forest department seizes 77 tortoise/turtles in Vadodara
SOURCE: DATE: 11th February 2015

Gujarat government’s forest department has seized 77 tortoise and turtles (50 turtles and the rest were tortoises), which were sent to Vadodara (Gujarat, India) from Mumbai illegally and detained one person in this case, forest officials said on the 11th of February 2015.
The case came to light when animal activist Neha Patel got information about it from her Mumbai counterpart and informed the local forest department which had kept a watch in Makarpura area of Gujarat city from where the accused was nabbed.
ATP NOTE: The turtle species were not mentioned.

Link to this web article online (English)

6. The USA: Ancient Turtle Fossils Uncovered in San Juan Capistrano
SOURCE: – DATE: 11th February 2015

Paleontologists have uncovered ancient fossils — that could be as ancient as 7 million years — belonging to a Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) at a San Juan Capistrano (California, the USA) construction site. Experts believe the fossils are between 3 million and 7 million years old. They say that the creature still exists today due to its ability to regulate its own body temperature. 

Link to this web article online (English)


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