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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 231, 22nd April 2016

1. Hanoi, Vietnam: Vietnamese scientists are collaborating with German experts to start the preservation by plasticisation of the Hoan Kiem Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei)
SOURCE: vnexpress.net – DATE: 21st April 2016

Necropsy and preservation of the Hoan Kiem Turtle started today, the 21st of April 2016.  According to Dr. Phan Ke Long, Director of Vietnam natural museum, the process would take between one and one and a half years to complete, as the body of the turtle is large. The German experts reported that the turtle remains were not in good condition and that some of the organs had already decayed. The Asian Turtle Conservation Program participated in preserving tissue specimens from the turtle for future research.  They also said that cloning the turtle is now impossible since the tissue samples did not meet the required standards.

The Hoan Kiem lake turtle’s body is being treated by applying plasticisation method, a modern approach in which water and fats within a specimen are replaced by certain plastics. The Hoan Kiem lake turtle was found dead on the 19th January 2016 and was estimated to be 200 years old thus the reason for his death might be age.

ATP NOTE: although the turtle was very old and could easily be over 100 years old the exact age remains unknown.  

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Hoan Kiem turtle

© vnexpress.net

nest patrol

© TSA

2. Indonesia: Nest Patrols Benefit Painted Terrapins in Indonesia
SOURCE: turtlesurvival.org – DATE: 8th March 2016

The three-month nesting season for the Painted Terrapin (Batagur borneoensis) is just ending. During that time, the nesting patrols spearheaded by the Satucita Foundation and the Agency of Natural Resources Conservation (BKSDA) Province Aceh, Indonesia (and supported by local volunteer fishermen) successfully saved and incubated 898 Painted Terrapin eggs from 55 nests. Additionally, the team protected and incubated 119 Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) eggs in the same area.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. India: 129 endangered tortoises return to Madagascar
SOURCE: mid-day.com – DATE: 18th April 2016

Almost a month after the Customs officers rescued two endangered species of Madagascan tortoises from an abandoned bag at the T2, which could have ended up as exotic pets or food, the 129 reptiles will embark on their homeward journey today, 18th April 2016. Their journey home via Air Mauritius flight MK 749 was coordinated by the efforts put in by various wildlife organisation led by Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA).

Earlier, on the 20th of March 2016, Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) at Mumbai Airport, India searched an unclaimed bag and recovered specimens of the endangered Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) (139) and Angonoka Tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) (7) from it. Unfortunately, two of the Radiated Tortoises died due to the stress of transportation, followed by another 15 in the coming days.

The luggage belonged to smuggler Lal Bahadur, who had travelled by Air Mauritius flight MK 748 to Mumbai and left for Nepal via a Jet Airways flight.

Link to this web article online (English)

tortoises back to Madagascar

© mid-day.com

4. Pakistan: Tortoises’ hunting, smuggling unchecked
SOURCE: nation.com.pk – DATE: 20th April 2016

Tortoises in the rivers and Nullahs here are being illegally hunted and smuggled to various countries including China due to alleged negligence of the Wildlife Department. The rare kind of tortoise is now vanishing due to the illegal hunting. The practice goes unabated and unchecked by the concerned officials of the Wildlife Department of Sialkot. The people residing along the banks of these rivers in and around Sialkot city (Punjab, Pakistan), seasonal Naullahs, canals and other waterways have been hunting these tortoises. They kill the tortoises and then smuggle them to the several other countries.

People have expressed grave concern over the situation, and urged the government high-ups to look into the matter and make some effective measures to ensure safety of tortoises.

Link to this web article online (English)

turtle entangled in plastic bag

© dawn.com

5. Pakistan: Rare turtle entangled in plastic bag rescued, released
SOURCE: dawn.com – DATE: 21st April 2016

How uncontrolled dumping of plastic products in marine environment is playing havoc with animal and plant life was recently indicated when a turtle of an endangered species entangled in a plastic bag was rescued, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan officials said on Wednesday.

According to the WWF-P, plastic pollution has become a serious threat to marine life and there is an immediate need to create awareness of the hazards of unsafe disposal of waste, especially plastic material, that often result in death of marine animals.

Link to this web article online (English)

 

 
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