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No. 221, 12th February 2016

1. Research group led by Canadian curator finds new tortoise species in Mexico
SOURCE: – DATE: 10th February 2016

A group of international researchers led by a curator from the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto says it has discovered a new species of tortoise in northern Mexico.

After decades of study, the team uncovered what was previously thought to be a single species of tortoise is actually three species. The new species has been named Goode's Thornscrub Tortoise (Gopherusevgoodei sp. n.) after businessman and philanthropist Eric Goode, who is known for his efforts to ensure the survival of turtles and tortoises globally.

The previously known tortoises in the group, Agassiz's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and Morafka's Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai), live in the Mojave Desert, from southern Utah to southern California and from Arizona to central Sonora. Goode's Thornscrub Tortoise has the smallest distribution among the group and the researchers say it is most certainly threatened with extinction.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Goode's Thornscrub Tortoise

© T. Edwards

Norma, the tortoise


2. The UK: A traumatised tortoise has been left in plastercasts after being savaged - by a rat.
SOURCE: – DATE: 29th January 2016

Shell-shocked Norma was hibernating at her home in Stalbridge, Dorset, the UK when the rodent pounced and her owner found her covered in blood with her front legs "eaten down to the bone". Her injuries were so bad that vets were close to putting the 35-year-old pet down. But Norma is now making a slow recovery after both her front legs were put in plaster to allow her limbs to heal.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Nepal: 40 tortoise shells seized from passenger bus
SOURCE: – DATE: 6th February 2016

Police seized as many as 40 tortoise shells from a passenger bus on the western outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, on Friday (5th of February 2016). The bus was heading to the Capital from Biratnagar of east Nepal. Further investigation is underway.

ATP NOTE: No detail on turtle identification has been provided.

Link to this web article online (English)

Radiated tortoise

© Perth Zoo

4. Australia: Buyer returns rare tortoise stolen from Australia zoo
SOURCE: – DATE: 7th February 2016

A stolen critically endangered tortoise has been returned to an Australian zoo after being sold on the black market. The buyer handed the animal in after he realised its rarity, police said.

Perth Zoo keepers believed the 10-year- Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) was taken from its enclosure last Tuesday. It is not the first time a radiated tortoise had gone missing from the zoo - two tortoises were stolen from the same enclosure in 2011.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. Australia: Watch a rare albino turtle hatch
Footage shows the moment an incredibly rare albino turtle hatches in Australia and makes his way to the sea
SOURCE: – DATE: 11th February 2016

An albino Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas), nicknamed Alby, has stunned wildlife volunteers after hatching on Queensland’s Castaways Beach on the 7th of February 2016.

The rare creature was born several days after his 121 siblings had hatched and vacated the nest. The Coolum District Coast Care Group said on Facebook that Alby was the first albino green turtle the group had come across in its nine years of turtle monitoring.

Link to this web article online (English)

albino green turtle

© Noosa Cummunity Biosphere Association


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