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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 189, 3rd July 2015

1. Motorbike chase leads to the confiscation of 26 live threatened tortoise and freshwater turtle species in Vietnam.
SOURCE: vtc.vn – DATE: 29th June 2015

On the 28th of June 2015 at 16:00 hours policeman were involved in a motorbike chase in which 26 lives turtles were recovered. In the Northern Vietnamese district of Cao Loc in Lang Son province that borders with China, the police tried to stop a motorcyclist who was seen behaving suspiciously. However the motorbike refused to stop and attempted to escape, as the driver fled the left behind a container containing 26 live turtles weighing a total of 82kg. These included 19 small turtles (possibly Impressed tortoise, Manouria impressa) each of which weighed approximately 1 kg, a further seven larger black turtles wait between 8 to 12 kg each (from the photograph these appear to be yellow headed Temple Turtles, Heosemys annandalii). Both species are fully protected under Vietnamese national law, Decree 32/2006/ND-CP which prohibits hunting, trade or consumption of the species.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Palawan Forest Turtle
© VTC News

US Secretary of Interior visited TCC
© Vietnamplus

US Secretary of Interior visited Cuc Phuong Nationa Park

© Vietnamplus

2. Secretary Jewell Visits Vietnam to Encourage International Collaboration in Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade
SOURCE: doi.gov – DATE: 1st July 2015

U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, concluded an official visit to Vietnam where she met with senior government officials, including Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, to discuss ways the United States and the South Asian country can work together to combat the world’s growing trade in illegal wildlife, which threatens to push to extinction species ranging from elephants and rhinos to marine turtles, tigers and pangolins.

During her trip to Vietnam, on the 1st of July 2015, she visited Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh province of Vietnam to tour the Endangered Primate Research Centre, Pangolin Conservation Program and Turtle Conservation Centre.  ATP NOTE: At the TCC Secretary Jewell was introduced to the critically endangered and endemic Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis).  It was explained what the centre is doing in terms of breeding the species in the hopes of release back into the wild as part of a joint project with the Asian Turtle Program (ATP).

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

3. Ecuador releases 201 tortoises on Galapagos island
SOURCE: ticotimes.net - DATE: 29th June 2015

Ecuador has released 201 tortoises of the Espanola Giant Tortoise (Chelonoidis hoodensis) subspecies on Santa Fe Island in the Galapagos archipelago, where a similar subspecies went extinct more than 150 years ago. Santa Fe is the former home to Chelonoidis sp, a subspecies of giant tortoise which died out after humans took a hefty toll on the ecosystem, beginning in the 18th century when pirates and buccaneers decimated the population.

These tortoises, which were released Saturday (27th June 2015), were raised in captivity and are between four and ten years old. The repopulation of the island with tortoises is described as “a conservation milestone” and signified a “new methodology for ecological restoration of the archipelago,” which is located 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) off the Ecuadoran coast.

Link to this web article online (English)

Lonesome George

© AFP

turtle egg trading
© The Star

4. Malaysia: WWF: Follow Sabah and Sarawak and ban turtle egg sales nationwide
SOURCE: thestar.com.my – DATE: 29th June 2015

There should be a nationwide ban on the trade of sea turtle eggs of any kind, and not just in Sabah and Sarawak of Malaysia, said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). In a statement, WWF said all states in Malaysia should emulate Sarawak and Sabah's ban on the trade of endangered animal's eggs. The statement was issued following news of the Marine Police foiling an attempted smuggling of 2,100 turtle eggs into Sandakan (Sabah, Malaysia) last week.

Link to this web article online (English)

Blanding's tortoise

© daily.mail.co.uk

5. Russia: What the shell is that? Dinosaur-like turtle with terrifying spikes and a ferocious beak emerges from Russia river – thousands of miles from its native home 
SOURCE: dailymail.co.uk – DATE: 1st July 2015

A giant turtle was discovered on the banks of the Amur River in Russia. The bizarre-looking creature has been identified as an Alligator Snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii). It's a mystery how the reptile ended up so far from home in the American south but was most likely escaped or released from captivity.

Link to this web article online (English)

6. Hydroelectric dams spell disaster for birds, tortoises, study says
SOURCE: themalaysianinsider.com – DATE: 2nd July 2015

Hydroelectric dams may cause 70% of wildlife in the nearby area to go extinct, according to a study Wednesday that raises new concern about what is often touted as a green energy source. The study in the journal PLOS ONE focused on how animals in the tropical rainforest were coping as a result of the Balbina Dam in the central Amazon, in Brazil.
The dam has helped create one of the world's largest hydroelectric reservoirs, known as the Balbina Lake, by flooding an area that used to be continuous forest land and making it into 3,546 islands. On all but the biggest islands, the change in landscape has meant a drastic loss of mammals, birds and tortoises over the past 26 years, and is likely to wipe out nearly three quarters of all wildlife in the region, the study found.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

2100 turtle eggs confiscated

© The Malaysian insider

 
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