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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 19, 19th February 2012

 

1. Federated States of Micronesia: Consumption of Rare Turtle Leads to Death of Six people

SOURCES: topnews.net.nz - DATE: 11th December, 2011

After consuming the endangered hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) in the Federated States of Micronesia, six people died and over 90 fell sick last month. The endangered turtle was served at a feast on the island of Murilo, where many people fell ill after partaking in the meal. The deaths resulted from chelonitoxism poisoning caused by biotoxins found in the turtle meat, according to the health officials and the World Health Organisation (WHO) the poisoning can not be treated.

Link to this web article online (English)

 

2. Malaysia: Terengganu Releases 66,000 Baby Turtles To Sea In 2011

SOURCES: climate.aib.org.uk - DATE: 12th December 2011

The Terengganu Fisheries Department in Malaysia has released about 66,000 baby turtles to the sea this year. Its director Zakaria Ismail said the hatchlings were from a total of almost 100,000 eggs that were incubated by the department between March and November this year. "Most of the turtle eggs were bought by the department together with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Terengganu," as part of a hatching program was to ensure marine turtles in Terengganu would not become extinct in future.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)
 

 

3. Washington, D.C., USA: New evidence of pure Floreana

SOURCES : galapagos.org DATE: 9th January 2012

This week a team of scientists from a number of institutions led by researchers in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at Yale University are reporting new evidence that pure Floreana tortoises (Chelonoidis elephantopus) may still exist on Wolf Volcano on the north end of the island of Isabela in the Galapagos Islands. These results, funded in part by Galapagos Conservancy, provide great hope for recovery of this species, thought to be extinct for nearly 150 years. Galapagos Conservancy's Science Advisor Dr. Linda Cayot said, “Returning true Floreana tortoises is now a dream that could come true.”

Link to this web article online (English)

 

4. India: 4000 turtles seized, two arrested

SOURCES: articles.timesofinda.indiatimes.com - DATE: 10th January 2012

KANPUR: Around 4,000 turtles were seized from a truck at Jalaun crossing near Kotwali police station in Auraiyya district, India on Monday 9th January 2012. Two persons were arrested.
The turtles were stuffed in 68 sacks, some being in critical condition. The vehicle was on its way to West Bengal. Auraiyya forest ranger Narendra Verma said that the turtles were brought from villages surrounding the Bharthana area and now they are waiting for a court order and most likely the seized turtles will be released into the wild on Tuesday.

Link to this web article online (English)

 

 

5. China: Shanghai Airport Customs Officers Seize 79 Live Turtles

SOURCES: newsfeed.time.com - DATE: 13th February 2012

Seventy-nine live Japanese pond turtles (Mauremys japonica) were found in a package at the Shanghai airport on Saturday, presumably headed toward China's animal black market. The species of turtle isn't threatened but their numbers have decreased in recent years because of habitat loss. The desire to have rare pets is slowly gaining popularity in China, leading to the import of illegal animals. Quarantine officials said that the turtles would be either “returned or destroyed.”

Link to this web article and video online (English)

 

 

 

6. Ca Mau Province, Vietnam: Delicious dish made from turtles

SOURCE: giaoduc.net.vn - DATE: 14th February 2012

There have always been plenty of turtles in the Ca Mau mangroves. Ca Mau people used to make food from various species of turtles. This article advertises that the most delicious dish is salted turtle which is easy to cook with popular spices from the area. A photo of a plate with three Malayan snail-eating turtles (Malayemys subtrijuga) is shown as a traditional dish.

ATP comment: it is sad to see such articles continuing to promote consumption of turtle s in Vietnam when for most species and wild caught animals this is illegal and with almost all species of turtles and tortoises in Vietnam threatened due to hunting, trade..

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

7. Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam: Closer look to the rare Asian Yellow Pond Turtle

SOURCES: xaluan.com - DATE: 15th February 2012

Recently, a new “trend” of raising Asian Yellow Pond Turtle (Mauremys mutica) turtles has developed in the Bac Ninh province, Vietnam. The trend has seen Asian Yellow Pond Turtles now selling for approximately 10–30 million VND/kg ($5,000 - $15,000 per kg) a dramatic increase from 2010 prices. Part of the demand is also due to the traditional medicine use of this species with unfounded claims that it can miraculous treat heart–related diseases. According to the article the Asian Yellow Pond turtle is considered to be extinct in the wild because of the high demand for the species in China although the species does still occur in the wild although in greatly reduced numbers. Bac Ninh farmers say “Only turtles caught in the wild can breed and lay eggs which will successfully hatch”. Adults will be illegally exported to China where high prices can be realised.

ATP note
, in fact captive bred animals can reproduce in captivity and the problem experienced by farms in Vietnam is likely a husbandry issue. This article seems to promote hunting and farming of wild caught Mauremys mutica and does not mention the species is endangered (IUCN red list, 2011). ‘Advertising' like this can push species like Mauremys mutica to become more threatened. Mauremys annamensis has also seen similar increased pressure for collection in recent months.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

8. Can Tho Province, Vietnam: A Giant Asiatic Softshell Turtle quits eating

SOURCES: phapluatttp.vn - DATE: 16th February 2012

A Giant Asiatic Softshell Turtle (Amyda cartilaginea) has been kept as a pet by a café manager in Ninh Kieu district, Can Tho City, Vietnam since 2003 when. As one of the largest soft-shell turtle species in Vietnam Amyda cartilaginea is listed on the IUCN red list as vulnerable (IUCN 2011) and is also vulnerable in Vietnam's red book (2011). This animal was bought by the owner from a friend when it was just 26kg and is now over 60kg after being fed mice, snails, crabs amongst other things. However, for the past month the turtle stopped eating making the owner worried. This article highlights the increasing popularity of keeping turtles as pets in Vietnam and the coverage in the media of such things, but also the challenges in keeping turtles in captivity.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 4 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

9. Quang Binh Province, Vietnam: Release of 37 wild animals back to nature.

SOURCES: dantri.com.vn - DATE: 17th February 2012

Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh province, Vietnam in collaboration with the Phong Nha Nature Conservation Project released 37 wild animals which had been kept in captivity at the National Park back to nature. Species released included Stump-tailed Macaque (Macaca arctoides) , Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons) , Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) , Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), Masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) and Asiatic Brush-tailed Porcupine (Atherurus macrourus). According to the article it was observed that these 37 individuals appeared to adapt quickly to their new environment.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

10. Cambodia: Shelling out help for Kingdom's turtles

SOURCES: ecologyasia.com - DATE: 10th June, 2011

The US$20,000 Mekong Turtle Conservation Centre, constructed by NGO Conservation International (CI), opened on Wednesday. It is intended as a sanctuary for four different types of turtles, including two endangered species, and contains facilities for raising hatchling turtles and research. Provide a safe environment for turtles to be head started before release into the wild. Community partnerships have been essential to the success of the conservation effort thus far, as fishermen and villagers continue to be educated about rare breeds. The partners of the turtle conservation effort include Conservation International, Cambodia's Fisheries Administration and the 100 Pillar Pagoda, in addition to the World Wildlife Fund and the Association of Buddhist Monks.

Link to this web article online (English)

 

 
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