Asian Turtle Program
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No. 236, 27th May 2016

1. Vietnam: villager caught a 9kg turtle
SOURCE: – DATE: 26th May 2016

On the 26th of May 2016, Tran Van Trieu (resident in Vinh Loc commune, Hong Dan district, bac Lieu province, Vietnam) said that his family is currently taking care of a 9kg turtle. Ealier, on the 20th of May 2016, he found the turtle on the bank of Cau Do - Ngan Dua river near his house.

ATP NOTE: As seen from the picture, the turtle appears to be a Yellow-headed Temple Turtle (Heosemys annandalii).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

9 kg turtle caught by local villeager


2. CITES Appendix II Protection Proposed for Africa’s Softshell Turtles
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th May 2016

A surge in Chinese consumption of Africa’s softshell turtles has prompted a proposal to uplist six softshell turtle species to CITES Appendix II. Parties to CITES will vote on the proposal at the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP17) taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa from the 24th of September to the 5th of October 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

The six softshell turtle species proposed for inclusion in CITES Appendix II are: Nubian Flapshell Turtle (Cyclanorbis elegans), Senegal flapshell turtle (Cyclanorbis senegalensis), Aubry’s flapshell turtle (Cycloderma aubryi), Zambezi Flapshell Turtle (Cycloderma frenatum), African Softshell Turtle (Trionyx triunguis), Euphrates Softshell Turtle (Rafetus euphraticus).

Link to this web article online (English)

marine turtles in Malaysia

© Tragopan via Wikimedia Commons

3. China-destined agricultural exports face obstacles: report
SOURCE: - DATE: 20th May 2016

Signs of a slowdown for farm products exported to China could be driven by heightened tension and uncertainty in cross-strait relations in the run-up to the power transfer, according to local media reports.

The price of Chinese Soft-shell Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) eggs dropped dramatically, grouper sales nearly halved, the United Daily News reported Thursday (the 19th of May 2016).

According to the chairman of the Taiwan Soft-Shell Turtle Keepers' Association (TWSSTA), Chang Nan-chien, the price of soft-shell turtle eggs has plummeted from NT$7 (US$0.21) per egg to NT$0.3 (US$0.01) in the China-destined export market since early this year. Chang added Taiwan exports around 150 million soft-shell turtle eggs to China each year. 

Link to this web article online (English)

South American giant turtle


4. Colombia Releases 80 Giant River Turtles Back into Nature
SOURCE: - DATE: 22nd May 2016

About 80 South American Giant Turtles (Podocnemis expansa) are happily strolling Colombia's largest plains near the Orinoco river after being reintroduced into the wild, the head of a program aimed at preserving the species said on Sunday, the 22nd of May 2016.

The project aims to raise awareness in local communities so they can contribute to the turtles' preservation, with specific measures directed at protecting their eggs, explained Alejando Olaya, one of the scientists in charge of the program and head of the Palmarito Foundation.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. The USA: Feds Snap Down on Trade for World Turtle Day
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd May 2016

In a nod to World Turtle Day, on the 23rd of May 2016, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced new protections for four freshwater turtle species to be published on the 24th of May 2016.

To address the threat of "unsustainable and illegal trade" in native freshwater turtles, the new rule places the Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) , and the Florida Softshell (Apalone ferox), Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica) and Spiny Softshell Turtles (Apalone spinifera) under the protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The CITES listing will require exporters to obtain a permit before shipping turtles overseas.  The U.S. has placed these four turtles under Appendix III.  The final rule, to be published on the 24th of May, will be effective the 21st of November 2016.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

6. India: World Turtle Day: Turtle conservation slow, yet to catch on
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd May 2016

Turtles, like tigers, are protected under Schedule (I) of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act. Yet they continue to be poached and killed. Turtles are trapped by poachers from numerous wetlands in Uttar Pradesh (UP), India.

The state is home to at least 14 endangered species of turtle out of the 28 found in India. On the 23rd of May 2016, on the occasion of the World Turtle Day, experts from various parts of the country and abroad would be putting their heads together at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan to deliberate on ways to conserve and increase the number of turtles in the state.

UP forest department will also sign an MoU with Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) for a long term turtle conservation plan. The workshop will also deliberate on protecting turtles' major habitat in the state, curbing trade, rehabilitating confiscated turtles and identifying important turtle areas in the state.

Link to this web article online (English)

7. The USA: New edible six-pack rings made from beer by-product
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd May 2016

How one brewery is hoping to save marine life with a game-changing invention, just in time for World Turtle Day.

A Small American brewery is gaining international attention after an online video revealing its concept of 100 per cent biodegradable and edible six-pack rings went viral.

Generally made from plastic, six-pack rings have huge implications on marine life when they enter the environment - causing strangulation, entanglement and impaction (a build-up of plastic in the gut), often resulting in death.

Whereas, Edible Six Pack Rings made from barley and wheat – by-products of the beer-making process, is believed to be an environmentally friendly alternative. Their production not only aims for zero waste, but upon entering the ecosystem, the rings break down, and is able to be ingested by marine animals such as fish and turtles.

Link to this web article online (English)

plastic six-pack ring

© We Believers

Murray River Short-necked Turtle

© Flickr: OZInOH

8. Australia: Freshwater turtle found on plane at Hobart airport an 'invasive species', will be euthanized
SOURCE: – DATE: 24th May 2016

A small turtle found in a plane's luggage compartment in Hobart will be euthanized, authorities say.

The reptile dropped out of an overhead compartment onto a seat as passengers on a Melbourne-to-Hobart Jetstar flight were getting ready to disembark. It was a Murray River Short-necked Turtle (Emydura macquarii), a freshwater species often kept as a pet. Nobody on the plane came forward as its owner.

There are no freshwater turtles native to Tasmania, Australia and they have been listed as prohibited wildlife since 2008. It is illegal for the turtles to be brought into the state, and according to the Department of Primary Industries the animals pose "a significant risk to our native freshwater species and waterways".  A spokesman for the department said the turtle would be, or may already have been, euthanized by members of the wildlife operations section.

Link to this web article online (English)

9. Brazil: Adorable tortoise receives a 3D-printed shell after being burnt in a fire
SOURCE: – DATE: 24th May 2016

A ridiculously cute tortoise named Fred has been given the world's first 3D-printed prosthetic shell, after most of her own shell was burnt in a forest fire in Brazil.

After surviving the blaze, Fred also lived through two bouts of pneumonia and 45 days without food, before she was found by volunteer group, the 'Animal Avengers', who gave her the not-so-charming name. Luckily, the Animal Avengers had a 3D designer among their group of volunteers, so the team decided to patch Freddy up by giving her the world's first 3D-printed shell.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

turtle with 3D shell


10. The USA: Long missing frog, turtle species making return to Yosemite
SOURCE: - DATE: 26th May 2016

A type of frog made famous by Mark Twain will soon be hopping and swimming through California's Yosemite National Park after a decades-long absence, officials said Wednesday.

The California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii) - named for its colorful legs and belly, vanished from the park more than 40 years ago. Western Pond Turtles (Actinemys marmorata) - missing from most of the park for 50 years -are also being reintroduced to Yosemite, both under a partnership with the San Francisco Zoo & Gardens, officials announced.

Link to this web article online (English)


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