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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 187, 19th June 2015

sea turtle poached in the Phillipines
© AFP

1. The Phippines: Palawan police seize 4,312 rare pond turtles
SOURCE: manilasandardtoday.com – DATE: 19th June 2015

Authorities seized more than 4,000 critically endangered Philippine Forest Turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis), locally known as bakoko or pond turtles, from a local resident in Barangay Rio Tuba in Bataraza town (Palawan, the Philippines).

The Provincial Law Enforcement Task Group seized 4,312 live turtles from Albar Abdurakib, who identified himself as a mere caretaker. Abdurakib will be charged with violation of Section 27 of the Philippine Wildlife Act.

ATP NOTE: the photograph in the article was from a previous marine turtle confiscation.

Link to this web article online (English)

2. India: Spotted Pond Turtles Return Home
SOURCE: turtlesurvival.org – DATE: 10th June 2015

In coordination with the Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra forest department and the Thane Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), TSA-India assisted in the repatriation of 335 Spotted Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii). The animals, which were illegally collected, were rescued over the past two months from various locations in the cities of Thane and Mumbai in India.

Transferred by air to the Kukrail Gharial and Turtle Rehabilitation Centre in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, India), the turtles are being kept under close observation and undergoing health assessments. Once the animals are considered to be in stable health, they will be released back into the wild.

Link to this web article online (English)

spotted turtles

© TSA

3. The UK: Adorable amputee tortoise back on the move after being fitted with Hotwheels car
DATE: metro.co.uk – DATE: 11th June 2015

Crippled tortoise Touche is back on the move after vets pimped him out with a Hotwheels car.

The eight-year-old amputee lost his leg in a nasty accident at home in Bristol (the UK) which left three-year-old owner Lena Hale horrified. But a team at Highcroft Veterinary Hospital fixed the base of a toy car to the underside of the reptile’s shell to keep him mobile.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Touche - the amputee tortoise

© SWNS

yellow margined box turtle

© Kyodo

4. New Taiwan conservation centre to give threatened turtles a fresh chance at survival
Facility aims to breed at-risk species and eventually send them back into the wild

SOURCE: scmp.com – DATE: 12th June 2015

Taiwan has five indigenous turtle species including Yellow-margined Box Turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) and Asian Yellow Pond turtle (Mauremys mutica), which are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as endangered, and at least 15 others that have been transplanted from elsewhere. All species in the region suffer from over-collection for food, traditional medicine and the pet trade. After authorities seized a shipment of more than 5,000 turtles from smugglers in 2013, Taiwan’s Forestry Bureau established a 1,300-hectare sanctuary, situated in the north of the island, around Feitsui Reservoir (New Taipei City, Taiwan). Despite the good intentions of the Feitsui project, Li Chia-wei - head of the Dr Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Centre - questions its effectiveness, saying many turtles are stolen because of insufficient ground patrols and lax penalties for poachers and smugglers. Rather, Li, with financing from private donors and Dr Cecilia Koo, is overseeing construction of a captive assurance colony to breed turtles. Once the new facility is established, Li's goal is to collect more than 10 turtle species by the end of this year, and eventually as many as 50.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. The USA: Threatened turtle species reintroduced to natural habitat through Lincoln Park Zoo program
SOURCE: myfoxchicago.com – DATE: 12th June 2015

Eleven Ornate Box Turtles (Terrapene ornata ornata) - a Midwest species that has come under threat in recent years -were reintroduced to their native habitats Wednesday thanks to a conservation program at the Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, Illinois, the USA).

To help the population thrive, Ornate Box Turtle eggs are collected and brought to the North Side zoo where they can incubate and hatch far from the usual threat of coyotes, snakes and raccoons. When the turtles are about a year old, zoo officials return them to their native habitat in the Upper Missouri River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, according to the zoo.

Link to this web article online (English)

ornate box turtle

© Lincohn Park Zoo

6. India: Police recover 259 tortoises from Farakka Exp bogie
SOURCE: timesofindia.indiatimes.com – DATE: 14th June 2015

Altogether, 259 tortoises were rescued and seized by the railway police from Farakka Express at Kiul railway junction on Patna-Jhajha section under Danapur division of India’s East Central Railways (ECR) on Saturday.

Receiving information that some persons were carrying more than 100 tortoise packed in several jute bags, the GRP staff conducted a raid in bogie number S-2 of Down 14004 Delhi-Farakka Express and seized the bags full of tortoise when the train stopped there. All the tortoises were in good condition and released into the river Ganga of India on Saturday afternoon.

ATP NOTE: no specific information was provided on the species involved.

Link to this web article online (English)

7. India: Another turtle dies; forest department not paying for food expenses
SOURCE: timesofindia.indiatimes.com – DATE: 14th June 2015

Another Black Pond Turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii) died on Saturday bringing down the number of surviving rescued turtles to 79. The Times of India (TOI) has been repeatedly reporting how the release of scheduled species to their place of habitat in Uttar Pradesh is being delayed which is affecting their lives. Though 96 turtles were seized by the Government Railway Police (GRP), 14 were already dead when handed over to the forest department and two more died later after they were released in a water tank.

On Saturday when TOI visited the Deer Park (India), only one guard was present at the premises where scheduled animals, including turtles, an injured monkey and black buck, are kept. Sources informed that no forester had turned up in the first part of the day to feed these animals. It was also learnt that the forest department has not made provision of funds to feed the animals.

Link to this web article online (English)

8. Malaysia: Rise in turtle deaths in Terengganu
SOURCE: thestar.com.my - DATE: 16th June 2015

The number of turtle deaths in Terengganu has increased to 55 within the first six months of the year compared to 49 last year, said Terengganu Fisheries Department Director of Resource Management, Rosman Rusdy. He said 99% of these turtles were adults. He said investigations found that most of the turtles died after getting snared in fishing gear such as trawl nets.

Rosman said that on the 14th of June, a dead adult Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found floating in the waters off Redang Island at about 12.30pm, believed to have been snared in a trawl net.

Link to this web article online (English)

9. The USA: Turtle center in Cross dedicated to keeping species alive
SOURCE: abcnews4.com – DATE: 16th June 2015

The goal of the Turtle Survival Alliance is to keep turtles from becoming extinct. The alliance has centres in five different countries, including one in Berkeley County (South Carolina, the USA). Nestled in the small town of Cross, the alliance's unique turtle centre houses turtles of all shapes and sizes. The centre is a safe haven for many turtle species that are in danger of disappearing due to the increasingly high demand for food, medicine and pets.

Link to this web article online (English)

turtle at TSA centre at Cross
© abcnews
4

10. 139 Arrested in Historic Wildlife Crime Operation
SOURCE: ens-newswire.com - DATE: 18th June 2015

The largest-ever coordinated international law enforcement operation against illegal trade in endangered species has resulted in 139 arrests and more than 247 seizures, including: elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolins, tortoises, rosewood and medicinal plants, officials revealed today. Operation COBRA III, conducted in two phases between mid-March and the end of May, drew the cooperative participation of law enforcement teams and agencies from 62 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and America.

European seizures included 11,439 dead and live specimens, almost 2,000 parts and products, and over six tonnes of timber, plants and animal parts.

Officials intercepted and seized:

  • - 20 kilograms of live leeches and 25 kg of coral in Bulgaria
  • - 10,000 dead seahorses and over 400 live turtles/tortoises in the UK and another 300 in Croatia
  • - over 90 kg of coral and more than 50 kg of animal heads, horns and other parts in Spain
  • - more than 500 kg of frozen eel in Poland
  • - over 800 cacti in a joint German/Chinese operation
  • - 16 whale ribs in the Netherlands
  • - 50 kg of raw, unworked ivory in France

Link to this web article online (English)

 
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