Asian Turtle Program
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No. 252, 16th October 2016

1. Pakistan: Endangered black pond turtles seized in Karachi released back to their habitat
SOURCE: – DATE: 13th September 2016

Officials of Sindh Wildlife Department have released the endangered freshwater black pond turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) back into their habitat on Monday. Huge consignments of these endangered turtles (780 turtles) were seized in Karachi on Friday during a raid on a house in Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi, Pakistan. The police had also arrested nine people including three Chinese nationals over the charge of attempting to smuggle the endangered turtles.

A team of the wildlife department, transported the consignment from Karachi to Sukkur on Sunday and on Monday morning, the turtles were released back at two different locations including Kalar Lake on Sukkur-Ghotki road and in the Naro Dhoro also known as Nara Canal.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

endangered black pond turtle


southern river terrapin

© H. Chivoan

2. Cambodia: Turtles returned to wild
SOURCE: – DATE: 14th September 2016

206 Southern River Terrapins (Batagur affinis) transferred to a new assurance breeding centre in Cambodia.

On the 13th of September 2016, a group of 206 Southern River Terrapins (Batagur affinis) were transferred to the new Koh Kong provincial Reptile Conservation Centre in the Are Ambel district, Boeung Preav province, Cambodia. These animals are from head starting, the result of nest protection by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Fisheries Administration. The species has come close to extinction in the wild from hunting and egg collection and it is hoped some of these animals can be released into the wild while others can be bred in captivity for an assurance colony.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. India: 16 rare species of tortoises found abandoned at railway station
SOURCE: – DATE: 11th September 2016

Government Railway Police (GRP) Cantonment, on Saturday, recovered 16 tortoises of rare species from Haridwar-Howrah Express of India. The tortoises weighed over 150kg and it is suspected that the smugglers were travelling in other compartment because of which they managed to escape.

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

Link to this web article online (English)

4. Turtles in space and jetpacks for all a target for Chinese tech pioneer
SOURCE: – DATE: 13th September 2016

KuangChi Science, a Chinese technology company hoping to send tourists – and turtles – into space, could soon go on a US$600 million investment spurt.

Later this year, it intends to send mice and turtles into near-space, up to 100km above sea level, via a capsule hooked up to balloons. If that works, KuangChi can begin exploring sending humans aloft.

Link to this web article online (English)

jet pack


Blanding Turtle

© Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Blanding Turtle

© Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

5. The USA: Notebaert Nature Museum Raises 131 Endangered Baby Turtles
SOURCE: – DATE: 13th September 2016

Blanding's turtles, an endangered species in Illinois and a half-dozen other states, are getting a head start on survival at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Chicago, the USA).

Every spring, pregnant Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) are temporarily removed from a forest preserve in DuPage County and taken about 25 miles west of Chicago to Willowbrook Wildlife Centre, where the adult females lay eggs inside protected enclosures before being returned to the exact spots where they were found.

At the wildlife centre, the turtle eggs are typically incubated for two to three months before they hatch. Then, when they're about seven to 10 days old and only an inch long, the majority are transported to the Notebaert Nature Museum, their new home for one to two years. In the last few weeks, the Notebaert museum has taken in 131 baby Blanding’s turtles through the program.

Link to this web article online (English)

6. Sexploits of Diego the Tortoise save Galapagos species
SOURCE: – DATE: 14th September 2016

He's over 100 years old, but his sex life is the stuff of legend. Diego the Tortoise is quite the ladies' man, and his exploits have helped save his species from extinction.

Diego, a Galapagos Giant Tortoise of the endangered Chelonoidis hoodensis subspecies, has fathered an estimated 800 offspring, almost single-handedly rebuilding the species' population on their native island, Espanola, the southernmost in the Galapagos Archipelago.

Link to this web article online (English)

Chelonoidis hoodensis


Spur-thighed tortoises

© Met Police

7. The UK: Shepherd's Bush pair fined £3,000 for smuggling endangered tortoises
SOURCE: - DATE: 14th September 2016

A man and a woman have been fined £3,000 ($3,970) after smuggling endangered tortoises into the UK. The pair were found guilty of importing and offering the rare species of tortoises for sale.

Police raided the pair’s Shepherd’s Bush home after reports suggested they had been illegally importing kittens from Algeria – but instead found six Spur-thighed Tortoises (Testudo graeca).

Link to this web article online (English)

8. Cambodia: Snakes and Tortoises Rescued
SOURCE: – DATE: 16th September 2016

A police chase in Kandal province of Cambodia on Wednesday night (14th September 2016) resulted in the rescue of some 367 kilograms of snakes (124kg) and tortoises (243kg) destined for Vietnam, while Tuesday saw police in Takeo province detain a minivan loaded with illegally imported shrimp.

Officials at the Chrey Thom International Checkpoint in Kandal province’s Koh Thom district found a large number of bags containing snakes and tortoises after the driver of a Nissan car fled. Moung Dara, the customs chief at the checkpoint, said that environment NGO Wildlife Alliance collected the seized animals and would release them back into the wild.

ATP NOTE: from the photograph in the article it looks to be a shipment of Yellow-headed Temple Turtle (Heosemys annandalii).

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

abandoned turtle



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