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No. 238, 10th June 2016

1. Thailand: Rare Madagascan tortoises missing from breeding station
SOURCE: – DATE: 7th June 2016

78 tortoises from Madagascan have been stolen from a bird sanctuary in Si Racha district, Chon Buri province, Thailand, where they were being kept. The animals include six Ploughshare Tortoises (Astrochelys yniphora) and 72 Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata). Both endemic to Madagascar and with a total estimated value of 3 million baht ($85,000) this highlights the pressure these species face both in the wild and captivity.

ATP NOTE: It is not clear if these animals have been microchipped or have clear identification markings that will help track them down.

Link to this web article online (English)

Radiated Tortoise

© Wikimedia Commons

black-headed python

© M. Glassey

2. Australia: Hand in illegal reptiles penalty-free
SOURCE: – DATE: 31st May 2016

An exotic non-native reptile amnesty launched last week, provides an opportunity for illegal reptile owners to surrender their animals penalty-free.

Minister for Agriculture Leanne Donaldson said the Queensland amnesty allowed people to hand in non-native turtles, lizards and snakes until the 10th of June, no questions asked. The amnesty is an attempt to protect native wildlife, said a spokesman from Biosecurity Queensland. He said concerns over exotic species arose when a Chinese Striped Neck turtle (Mauremys sinensis) was found during a fauna assessment in Toowoomba’s Waterbird Habitat (in Darling Downs, Queensland, Australia).

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Vietnam: Release of two sea turtles in Soc Trang province
SOURCE: – DATE: 6th June 2016

On the 6th of June, Soc Trang province’s department of Forest Protection and Department of Exploitation and Fishery Resources Protection received 2 sea turtles from Mr. Tran Thuc Nghiem, director of Gia Huy Company. One turtle is 675g, the other is 660g. Mr. Nghiem bought the two turtles from a fisherman at the price of VND 500,000 ($22.73) and kept them in his house for over 1 month. Realizing, these are endangered turtles, protected under national law, he contacted and handed over both to the local authorities. The turtles are in good condition, so on the morning of the 6th of June, the local authorities released them back to the sea area at Tran De Estuary.

ATP NOTE: As seen from the pictures, the turtles appear to be Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

hand over sea turtle


4. Canada: Blanding's turtle protected as turbine approval revoked
SOURCE: – DATE: 7th June 2016

In a result for conservation, a wind turbine project in Canada has been rejected as it threatened habitat of the endangered Blanding’s Turtle (Emys blandingii).

For the third time in the past three years, a legal decision was handed down in favour of the endangered species, and against a proposed wind turbine development in Prince Edward County, east of Toronto, Canada that threatened to cause the turtle “serious and irreversible harm.”

In a ruling released Monday, an Environmental Review Tribunal ordered the initial “renewable energy approval” issued by the Ontario Environment Ministry four years ago to Ostrander Point GP Inc. revoked.

Link to this web article online (English)

Blanding's Turtle

© Dreamstime

rescue loris


5. Vietnam: 9 wild animals rescued within one week by a conservation group
SOURCE – DATE: 8th June 2016

Education for Nature – Vietnam, a local conservation group said that from the 3rd of June to the 8th of June, the organization in collaboration with functional agencies rescued 9 wild animals, including 5 Green Sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), 3 Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and 1 Pygmy Slow Loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus).

Specifically, on the 3rd of June, they received information and pictures provided by a tourist about 3 sea turtles in captivity in a boat near Cha Va Bridge in Vung Tau city, Southern Vietnam, ENV quickly informed the local authorities to collaborate to rescue them. On the 7th of June 2016, these sea turtles were released to the ocean.

Similarly, based on the information provided by an ENV volunteer, ENV and Ho Chi Minh city police detected and rescued 2 long-tailed macaques. On the 7th of June, the macaques were handed over to Cu Chi Rescue Centre.

On the 6th of June, with the support from ENV and an  ENV volunteer, Ha Long Environmental Police and Ha Long Forest Protection Department of Quang Ninh province, northern Vietnam detected and rescued two endangered sea turtles, 10kg and 6kg respectively.  The turtles are to release to the sea.

An ENV volunteer successfully encouraged his friend to transfer a loris to the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre in Cuc Phuong National Park. Earlier, on the 3rd of June, 1 long-tailed macaque was released to Cat Tien National Park after 2 months of being in captive.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

6. Canada: Ontario turtles close to extinction, conservation group worries
SOURCE: – DATE: 8th June 2016

Poaching has become a significant problem for many Canada’s Ontario turtle species inching their way to possible extinction, conservation groups fear. Three of the province's eight native turtle species are on the endangered list with the Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera) recently being given the designation.

Poaching only adds to the threats turtles already contend with, including destruction of their natural nesting grounds, explained Erin Mallon, conservation biologist from Ontario Nature, a charitable organization that protects wild species and their habitats.

The province's endangered list also includes the spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) and the wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta). The snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentine) is considered at-risk. The Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) is the only species out of eight that are native to the province that are not considered at-risk.

Link to this web article online (English)

spiny softshell turtle



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