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No. 179, 24th April 2015

1. The USA: BPA trumps temperature to decide turtle sex
SOURCE: – DATE: 16th April 2015

Bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastics that mimics estrogen, can alter turtles’ reproductive systems and disrupt sexual differentiation. Scientists are concerned that the findings could indicate harmful effects on environmental and human health.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in a variety of consumer products, such as food storage products and resins that line plastic food and beverage containers. Often, aquatic environments such as rivers and streams become reservoirs for BPA, which affects fish and turtle habitats.
“Normally, the sex of the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) is determined by the temperature of the environment during their development in the egg—cooler temperatures yield more male turtles, while warmer temperatures mean females are more likely to develop,” says Dawn Holliday, adjunct assistant professor of pathology and anatomical sciences in the University of Missouri School of Medicine and assistant professor of biology at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. “However, when turtle eggs are exposed to environmental estrogens, their sex is no longer determined by the temperature, but rather by the chemical to which they’re exposed,” he added.

Link to this web article online (English)

painted turtle

© R. Meissen

African spurred tortoise

© Secorisou

2. Japan: This patient Japanese man takes his giant tortoise for 'slow' walks in Tokyo
SOURCE: - DATE: 17th April 2015

A giant tortoise going for languid walks with his Japanese owner has become a hit online. Passers-by who spotted them in Tokyo's Tsukishima district have posted their photos on social media. Unlike walking a dog, no leash is required, and the elderly gentleman hardly breaks a sweat as he strolls alongside his African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata).

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

3. Bac Lieu province, Vietnam: a 62-kg rare sea turtle species caught
SOURCE: – DATE: 20th April 2015

When fishing ashore, Bac Lieu fisherman caught a rare sea turtle entangled in hid fishing net. The 62-kg turtle was identified as a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). The turtle was then transferred to Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Dong Hai district, Bac Lieu province. According to Education for Nature of Vietnam (ENV) a local NGO, the turtle will be released to the wild on the 28th of April, 2015.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


sea turtle caught

© Tran Trung

stealing 160 turtles


4. China: 2 arrested in Shanghai after stealing 160 turtles from competitor
SOURCE: – DATE: 20th April 2015

A pet storeowner and his employee have been detained by police in Xuhui District following allegations that they stole 160 turtles from their competitor.
According to police, the shop owner, surnamed Jiao, held a long-standing grudge against a fellow stall-holder after multiple disputes in the pet market. Allegedly, Jiao and his employee, surnamed Qian, hatched a plan to steal the market competitor's turtles, leaving only a note at the scene to frame another storeowner.
On the 28th of March 2015, the competitor reported to the police that 160 turtles of various species had been stolen from his store, worth over 200,000 yuan (US$32,300). Police suspected Qian of the theft after checking surveillance camera footage and questioning other stallholders. On the 13th of April 2015, Qian and Jiao were held and up to 30 turtles were retrieved. The other turtles, according to the source, had been released in nearby creeks.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. Australia: Endangered Loggerhead Turtle released back into wild after crocodile attack in Queensland
SOURCE: – DATE: 22nd April 2015

An endangered Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) has travelled more than 200 kilometres up the Queensland coast, Australia to be released back into the wild after suffering a crocodile attack.
The turtle, named Amanda, was close to death six months ago when it was spotted by locals in Ross Creek near Yeppoon (Quensland, Australia) and eventually picked up by a Quoin Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre volunteer. Centre owner Bob McCosker said the 25-year-old female had lost one of its front flippers and damaged the other in the altercation. Mr McCosker said it was unusual to see a turtle with injuries sustained from a crocodile attack. A satellite tag has been placed onto the turtle so that researchers can monitor her movements. Mr McCosker said efforts to save the life of just one loggerhead turtle would go a long way in conserving the increasingly rare animal.

Link to this web article online (English)

loggerhead turtle © B. McCosker

Hale Boggs Federal Building
the Times Picayune archive

6.  The USA: Covington turtle smuggler slapped with 15-month prison sentence
SOURCE: – DATE: 22nd April 2015

A Covington (Newton County, Georgia, USA) man was sentenced Wednesday (the 22nd of April, 2015) to 15 months in prison following a guilty plea to conspiracy to smuggle turtles out of the U.S., the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Lawrence Treigle, 33, pleaded guilty last December to violating the Lacey Act. U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office said Treigle admitted to being part of a group that captured wild North American Wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) in Pennsylvania, shipped them via mail through the U.S., and ultimately exported the turtles to Hong Kong. In the government's factual basis in December, Treigle acknowledged that the made more than $200,000 from the turtle sales and that he knew it was illegal to buy, sell or trade North American Wood turtles captured from the wild.

Link to this web article online (English)

Western swamp tortoise
B. Ha

7. Australia: Tortoise in wild revival
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd April 2015

Australia's most endangered reptile - the Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) - has been given a new lease of life.  A $1.4 million breeding centre aimed at saving the tortoise, believed extinct until its rediscovery in 1953, opened at Perth Zoo (Australia) yesterday. Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the centre would play a key role in safeguarding the species' future. The zoo's breeding program for the species has bred more than 800 tortoises, with 668 being released into the wild. Mr Jacob said the importance of the program and the new area, which can care for up to 250 tortoises, could not be compared to any in Australia.

Link to this web article online (English)

8. Nghe An province, Vietnam: Pu Mat National Park release wild animals to the nature
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd April 2015

On the 22nd of April, 2015, Wildlife Rescue Centre of Pu Mat National Park, Con Cuong district, Nghe An province released the 6 wildlife into the wild. These animals include one leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), one Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbilnifrons), two Impressed Tortoises (Manouria impressa) and two Stump-tailed Macaques (Macaca arctoides). The animals have been nurtured back to health by staff of Wildlife Rescue Centre so that they are in good condition and adapt able to the natural environment.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

release wildlife in Pu Mat National Park



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