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No. 266, 23rd December 2016

1. India: Despite Arrests, Illegal Trade in Star Tortoises Continues Unabated
SOURCE: – DATE: 27th November 2016

A tristate junction in south India seems to have been exporting tens of thousands of star tortoises every year. Are populations being wiped out?

The Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is the most traded tortoise species in the world. Every year, thousands of them are confiscated, mostly at airports. According to the Wildlife Protection Society of India, close to 8,000 were seized over a ten-year period between 1990 and 1999. But this number shot up in the following decade. Officials stopped more than 36,000 from leaving the country between 2000 and 2013. An overwhelming majority of these – about 20,500 – were confiscated from Tamil Nadu, India.

Link to this web article online (English)

Indian Star Tortoise

© S. Madhav

Hanoi wildlife trade conference


Hanoi wildlife trade conference

© Humane Society International


2. Signatories to Hanoi Statement urged to do more to combat illegal wildlife trade
SOURCE: - DATE: 15th December 2016

The Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade held last month in Vietnam opened with a call to arms by the UK's Prince William. But the Hanoi Statement adopted by 41 countries and the European Union once again failed to adequately address the urgency of the situation, according to the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

Link to this web article online (English)

3. The USA: America is proposing shrimp fisherman use nets equipped with turtle escape hatches, which could save as many as 2500 endangered sea turtles every year.
SOURCE: - DATE: 16th December 2016

Shrimp fisherman in America might have to start using nets equipped with turtle escape hatches in the hope it will save as many as 2500 endangered sea turtles a year.

America's National Marine Fisheries Service wants to require more shrimp fishermen to use "turtle excluder devices" to prevent sea turtle deaths. The devices are metal grates that allow turtles to escape the boats' nets. The new rules would apply mostly in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, home to a major part of America's largest shrimp fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Link to this web article online (English)


sea turtle


leatherback sea turtle


4. China: Rare Giant Sea Turtle Captured Again in Southern China, This Time It Was Released Soon After Captured
SOURCE: – DATE: 20th December 2016

Another giant Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) was captured off the coast in south China's Guangdong province. This animal was captured just weeks after authorities in Guangdong province opened an investigation into the slaughter and sale of another protected Leatherback Sea Turtle in November 2016.

This time the protected sea turtle measured over 250-kilogram and was captured by a young man Wu Zengxing, a fisherman lives on Naozhou Island. Wu said there was a local restaurateur offering him 5000 yuan ($720) for the turtle. But the offer was turned down by Wu, who later released the turtle back to sea.

Link to this web article online (English)

Indian Star Tortoises


5. Mumbai, India: Four Star Tortoises rescued from pet shop, owner arrested
SOURCE: - DATE: 23rd December 2016

Even after repeated attempts to protect the Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, it still faces the challenge of being traded openly in sub-urban Mumbai, India. On Wednesday (21st December 2016), four such tortoises were rescued from a pet shop in Nalasopara West, Mumbai, India. The owner of the shop has been arrested and a case was registered against him.

Nirali Koradia from People For Animals, an NGO fighting for animal rights, seized the tortoises from Abdul Khan, owner of Blue Waves pet shop and handed them over to the forest department.

Link to this web article online (English)


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