Asian Turtle Program
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No. 224, 4th March 2016

1. Quang Binh province, Vietnam: Centre for rescue, conservation and creature development of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park just released 9 wild animals to the nature.
SOURCE: – DATE: 3rd March 2016

On the 2nd of March 2016, Mr. Le Thuc Dinh, director of Centre for rescue, conservation and creature development of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park said that the centre in collaboration with FPD of Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park released 9 animals back into the wild in Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park. These included 1 Stump-tailed Macaque (Macaca arctoides), 2 Assam Macaques (Macaca assamensis), 4 Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii), and 2 Asian palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites).

Earlier, at the beginning of January 2016, the centre release 11 animals including 2 Indochinese Box Turtles (Cuora galbinifron), 2 Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii), 1 Impressed Tortoise (Manouria impressa), 1 Stump-tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides), 2 Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), 1 Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites), 1 Masked Palm Civet (Paguma larvata), and 1 Reticulated Python (Python reticulates).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

release animals to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park


14 kg turtle found in Can Tho


2. Can Tho, Vietnam: 14kg turtle found at the middle of the city
SOURCE: – DATE: 29th February 2016

On the 28th of February 2016, on the way back home, a man named Truong Van Minh (living in Cai Rang district, Can Tho city, Vietnam) observed and caught a large turtle, over 14kg in weight. The news attracted more than 300 people to come and observe it on the 28th and 29th of February 2016.

ATP NOTE: As seen from the pictures, the turtle appears to be a Yellow-headed Temple Turtle (Heosemys annandalii). The species is protected under national Decree 32/2006/ND-CP which means hunting and keeping this animal is prohibited.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

3. Australia: Drones helping save world's biggest green sea turtle nesting site at Raine Island
SOURCE: – DATE: 26th February 2016

In a Queensland first, drones are being used to help save the world's biggest nesting site for green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

It is hoped the project will help researchers collect data from the key breeding ground of remote Raine Island, Australia, where tens of thousands nest each year. Their breeding rate on the island is a very low 20 per cent, well under the sustainable rate of 85 per cent. The drones have been deployed to help researchers count the turtles and allow for more efficient and accurate data collection than counting from the ground.

Link to this web article online (English)

Green sea turtle


4. The Philippines: Turtles' vulnerable start to life on Philippine coast
SOURCE: – DATE: 29th February 2016

A story of Olive Ridley Sea Turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) and their threats in the Philippines. Despite conservation efforts in the Philippines to protect sea turtles they still face many threats. The collection of eggs for local consumption, the hunting and trade of adults largely to meet demands of the Chinese market and even the head starting efforts might be suffering with hatchlings from protected eggs sometimes kept hatchlings for many hours waiting for tourists to pay one dollar each for them to be released.

One positive development from this story is the fact that there is a change in attitudes among some, with individuals who previously ate eggs now responsible for some of the nest protection.

Link to this web article online (English)

olive ridleys eggs

© US Attorney's Office

© N. Celis

5. Sweden: Threatened Vietnamese turtle reproduces in Sweden
SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd March 2016

The Vietnamese pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis), one of the most threatened turtle types in the world, has reproduced in Sweden for the first time at the Nordens ark zoo, news agency TT reports.

The zoo recreated the climate of the area of Vietnam where these turtles come from, with its different seasons, to create an appropriate environment for reproduction. There were three failed attempts before the turtles reproduced.

Link to this web article online (English)

Mauremys annamensis

© A. Ihse

pig-nosed turtle


white-handed gibbon

© bbc.vom

6. Facebook wildlife trade prompts fears among environmentalists
SOURCE: – DATE: 3rd March 2016

Environmentalists say they are worried about the emergence of Facebook as an online marketplace for trade in endangered species.

Wildlife monitoring network Traffic found hundreds of protected animals for sale on Facebook groups in Malaysia, including sun bears (Helarctos malayanus), gibbons, and binturongs (Arctictis binturong), also known as bearcats. It says this type of illegal trading is a growing threat around the world. Facebook said it "will not hesitate" to remove content promoting such trade. The researchers monitored 14 Facebook groups for 30 minutes daily over a period of five months. They found more than 300 wild, live animals for sale as pets.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


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