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No. 220, 5th February 2016

1. China: Shanghai Authorities Uncover Largest Turtle Smuggling Attempt
SOURCE: – DATE: 31st January 2016

Authorities in Shanghai seized more than 2,000 endangered turtles on the 19th of November 2015, in what can be considered as the largest turtle smuggling attempt in the city, the official Xinhua news agency has reported. This shipment apparently came from Indonesia and contained Malayan Box Turtles (Cuora amboinensis), Pig-nosed Turtles (Carettochelys insculpta) and Spotted Pond turtle (Geoclemys hamiltonii). ATP NOTE: G. hamiltonii is not native to Indonesia but is likely the species referred to in this confiscation. The current placement or release of these animals is not mentioned in the story.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

turtles trade in China

© K. Frayer

turtle confiscation in Nghe An

© Hai Binh

2. Vietnam: 14 turtles and 5 pangolins confiscated in Nghe An province
SOURCE: – DATE: 29th January 2016

On the 28th of January 2016, Nghe An province in northern Vietnam police stopped a Camry car running at high speed on Highway 48 through Dien Chau district (Nghe An province). Upon investigation, the police found 5 pangolins (15kg in total) and 12 turtles (12kg in total) and 2 soft-shell turtles. The driver, Vu Truong Thi said that he had bought these animals from Laos and would transport to sell them in Northern provinces of Vietnam at the price about 4 million dong ($180) per one kg of pangolin and 1 million dong per 1kg of turtle ($45). Thi is currently in detention for illegally transporting the rare and endangered species. The pangolins and turtles were transferred to Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.

ATP NOTE: the turtles included 11 Southern Asian Leaf Turtles (Cyclemys oldhamii), 2 Asiatic Softshell Turtles (Amyda cartilaginea) and 1 Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii), all have been transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park on the 31st of January 2016.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

3. Tay Ninh province, Vietnam: illegal transportation of turtles and monkeys from Cambodia.
SOURCE: – DATE: 3rd February 2016

On the 30th of January 2016, the Police of Chau Thanh district, Tay Ninh province, Vietnam, detected and arrested a man named Le Thanh Niem (born in 1992, living in Thanh Long commune, Chau Thanh district) when he was transporting 16 monkeys (32 kg in total) and 47 turtles (30kg in total) on a Honda motorbike. The man failed to show any legal documents proving the origins of these animal. Le Thanh Niem said he was hired by a Cambodian man to deliver these animals from Cambodia to Hoa Binh market in Thanh Long commune, Chau Thanh district, Tay Ninh province. These animals were handed over to Tay Ninh Forest Protection Department.

ATP NOTE: from the photograph the turtles appear to be Elongated Tortoises (Indotestudo elongata) and Leaf Turtle (Cyclemys sp.).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

wildlife confiscation in Tay Ninh


sea turtle found in Lang Co, Hue

© Department of Fisheries of Thua Thien-Hue province, Vietnam

sea turtle found in Lang Co, Hue

© Department of Fisheries of Thua Thien-Hue province, Vietnam

4. Vietnam: Release of a green sea turtle lost in Lap An pond rammer– Lang Co town, Thua Thien Hue province
SOURCE: – DATE: 1st February 2016

On the 29th of January 2016, the Department of Fisheries of Thua Thien-Hue province, Vietnam and authorities of Lang Co town, Phu Loc district released a green sea turtle (chelonia mydas) after a period of rescue and health care. Earlier, on the 23rd of January, the green sea turtle was caught by a fisherman named Trần Bê living in An Cu civil group, Lang Co town while this man was fishing in Lap An pond rammer. The turtle was 8kg in weight and 50cm in length. This is considered a rare turtle species listed in Vietnam’s Red Book and the first turtle reported rescued in 2016.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

5. Israel: Prehistoric man enjoyed roasted tortoise appetisers, Israeli archaeologist says
SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd February 2016

400,000 year old tortoise shells in a cave in Israel show that prehistoric man used to eat the animals. Burn marks were found on the shells discovered in the Qessem cave, as well as signs they were cracked open and cut marks indicating the animal was butchered using flint knives.

ATP NOTE: unfortunately consumption of turtles in many countries persists today, however an ever-increasing human population means the consumption of these slow growing reptiles is no longer sustainable.

Link to this web article online (English)

Qessem cave

© B. Ratner

baby sea turtle


6. The USA: Study: Mood lighting helping to save endangered sea turtles
SOURCE: – DATE: 3rd February 2016

The key to helping the endangered sea turtle population in Florida may be the right lighting.

In a new study by University of Central Florida biology professor John Weishampel, he found that bright lights “can deter a female from returning to her nesting site,” which in turn limits the amount of eggs being laid each year, TakePart reports. The findings, which were discovered in conjunction with his son’s high school project, found that mood lighting could help with bringing female turtles back.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)


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