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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 198, 5th September 2015

1. Madagascar: Madagascar received 151 rare tortoises repatriated from France
SOURCE: coastweek.com – DATE: 22nd August 2015

A total of 151 radiated tortoises from Madagascar were repatriated from France on Wednesday (19th August 2015) at Antananarivo’s Ivato International Airport, a statement from Air Madagascar said.

Stéphane Gagno, chief of animals service under the Station for Observation and Protection of Tortoises and their Environments (SOPTOM) in France, which sent back these tortoises to Madagascar said at the airport that 170 tortoises from Madagascar were seized in France on the 14th of December 2014.

Link to this web article online (English)

radiated tortoise
© coastweek.com

2. The Philippines: APEC cracks down on illegal wildlife trafficking
SOURCE: news.pia.gov.ph – DATE: 31st August 2015          

Anti-corruption authorities, customs bureaus and law enforcement agencies from the 21 APEC members are ramping up their collaborative efforts to combat illegal wildlife trafficking in the Asia-Pacific, coming against the backdrop of breaking global developments that have helped to serve as a rallying point for greater policy action.

This development was shared by the APEC Pathfinder Dialogue II on Fighting Corruption and Illicit Trade from the on-going APEC meetings in Cebu City, the Philippines.

Link to this web article online (English)

turtle kingpin in Nha Trang

© ENV

3. Vietnam: The confiscation of 10 tons of endangered sea turtles go unnoticed.
SOURCE: thoibaotaichinhvietnam.com – DATE: 31st August 2015

In late 2014, more than 10 tons of sea turtles were confiscated in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, central Vietnam, the biggest confiscation of sea turtles ever. However, 9 months have passed since the case was first detected; no prosecution or detention has been made.

This seems to go against Article 103 and 104 of Criminal Procedure Code (2003), which stipulates: “Within twenty days after receiving offense denunciations, information, and/or criminal case institution proposals, the investigating bodies must, within the scope of their responsibilities, examine and verify the information sources and decide to institute or not to institute criminal cases. In cases where the denounced events, offense information or criminal case institution proposals involve many complicated circumstances or where the examination and verification thereof must be conducted at many different places, the time limit for settling denunciations and information may be longer, but must not exceed two months.”

ATP NOTE: detailed information on the seizure has been mentioned on Bulletin No. 163

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

4. The United Kingdom: Fishermen discards could increase prevalence of turtle disease in the Turks and Caicos Islands
SOURCE: Exeter.ac.uk – DATE: 27th August 2015

Fishermen in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a UK Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, could be increasing the local prevalence of a disease that is affecting turtle populations worldwide, by selectively harvesting healthy creatures and throwing back infected animals. The implication comes from a research led by the University of Exeter, surveying Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) and green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease, which creates unsightly pink tumours on the turtles’ flesh in the Caribbean waters around these islands.

The research was published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, called “Fisher choice may increase prevalence of green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease.”

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

fibropapilomatosis disease

© D. Silverberg

Eunotosaurus africanus

© M. Ellison

5. The USA: Scientists discover key clues in turtle evolution
SOURCE: phys.org – DATE: 2nd September 2015

A research team led by NYIT scientist Gaberiel Bever has determined that a 260-million year-old fossil species found in South Africa's Karoo Basin provides a long awaited glimpse into the murky origins of turtles.

Bever, describes the extinct reptile, named Eunotosaurus africanus, as the earliest known branch of the turtle tree of life.

While Eunotosaurus lacks the iconic turtle shell, its extremely wide ribs and distinctively circular torso are the first indications that this fossil represents an important clue in a long unsolved mystery: the origin of turtles. In a new study published in Nature, Bever and his colleagues from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Yale University, and the University of Chicago focus their attention on the skull of Eunotosaurus. Their findings indicated that the complex anatomy of the head houses convincing evidence of the important role played by Eunotosaurus in the deep history of turtle evolution.

Link to this web article online (English)

 
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