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No. 184, 29th May 2015

1. The USA: State Leaves 620 Baby Turtles In UWS Woman's Bathroom
SOURCE: – DATE: 11th May 2015

An Upper West Side wildlife rehabilitator has been saddled with 620 tiny turtles, after the Department of Environmental Conservation seized them from a Chinatown warehouse and dumped them on her. “They didn’t want to euthanize them, so they called me,” Lorri Cramer, who works with the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society, told the Post. “I thought they were giving me 52. And when they got here, they brought 650.”

The turtles—called red-eared sliders—are the most popular pet turtle in the U.S., but are nonetheless illegal to sell or release in New York State. The hatchlings are currently bobbing in several plastic tubs in Cramer's bathroom, and 30 of them have already died.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

620 red-eared sliders
© J. C. Rice

2. The USA: Adorable Baby Tortoise Hatchling at the Zoo Signals a Breeding Success Story
SOURCE: –DATE: 22nd May 2015

To get the critically endangered Madagascar spider tortoises (Pyxis arachnoides) to breed successfully took both tenacity and a whole lot of luck.

Sometimes a change of scenery makes all the difference. The pair of critically endangered spider tortoises that arrived at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., last June had been living together for 14 years in a Texas zoo and had never produced a viable hatchling. Then, on the 10th of May of this year, their first baby tortoise broke its way out of its shell, and the second one is expected any day.

Link to this web article online (English)

baby spider tortoise
National Zoo
baby spider tortoise
National Zoo


3. India: World turtle day: 335 rescued turtles released in Kukrail
SOURCE: – DATE: 24th May 2015

The Uttar Pradesh forest department, along with Maharashtra forest department and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), on Saturday released 335 Spotted Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) at the Ghariyal Rehabilitation Centre in Kukrail (Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India) to mark World Turtle Day.

These turtles were rescued over the past two months from various places in Thane and Mumbai by the Mahashtra forest department and custom authorities. They will be released in wetlands and lakes after 60 days.

Link to this web article online (English)

Rafetus swinhoei in China

© G. Kuchling

4. China: Ray of Hope for the World's Most Endangered Turtle

SOURCE:– DATE: 26th May 2015

The TSA, San Diego Zoo Global and Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Bronx Zoo recently announced that working in conjunction with Changsha Zoo, Suzhou Zoo and the China Zoo Association, a female Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei)—potentially the last female of her species—has been artificially inseminated. The procedure, which brought together top scientists from China, Australia and the United States, provides a ray of hope in a continuing effort to save the world's most endangered turtle.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this video online (English)

5. Couple caught trying to smuggle 400 rare turtles from Japan SOURCE: – DATE: 25th May 2015

Customs officers stopped a couple from boarding a flight out of Japan with hundreds of rare turtles, which are high valued in China for their medical properties and as pets. In the incident in early May, officers at Chubu Airport (Nagoya, Japan) confiscated 400 or so Asian brown pond turtles (Mauremys mutica) and Japanese pond turtles (Mauremys japonica). The turtles, packed in suitcases, were bundled in pairs with their bellies facing each other and stuck inside socks. The two species are traded at 2,000 yen to 8,000 yen ($16.15 to $64.60) in Japan but fetch twice to 10 times those prices in China.

The Environmental Ministry effectively banned the export of Asian brown pond turtles from Japan in April. Nagoya Customs are investigating the case as an attempted violation of the Customs Law’s ban on the unauthorized export of regulated products.

Link to this web article online (English)

turtles seized in Chubu airport
A. Tsukidate

Chelonoidis hoodensis

6. Ecuador: 207 giant tortoises to be released in the Galapagos SOURCE: – DATE: 27th May 2015

Administrators at Ecuador's Galapagos National Park said 207 giant tortoises will be released next month on the island of Santa Fe, where the native tortoises died out more than 150 years ago. The tortoises to be set loose on the 5th of June 2015 by the park directors and the Galapagos Conservancy group belong to the species Chelonoidis hoodensis, Spanish news agency Efe reported from the South American nation.

Native to the Galapagos island of Espanola, the Chelonoidis is morphologically and genetically similar to the original Santa Fe tortoise. The aim of the initiative is to establish "a breeding population that fulfils a function in the ecosystem", park management said.

Link to this web article online (English)



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