Asian Turtle Program
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No. 26, 15th April 2012


1. USA. Interesting Alligator snapping turtle - monster facts

SOURCE: - DATE: 9th April 2012

The prehistoric-looking alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) is the largest freshwater turtle in North America and among the largest in the world. They are the sole living member of the genus Macrochelys - while other common snappers are in the genus Chelydra . With its large, heavy head, spiked shell, beaklike jaws, and thick scaled tail, this species is often referred to as the "dinosaur of the turtle world." Found almost exclusively in the rivers, canals, and lakes of the southeastern United States, alligator snappers can live to be 50 to 100 years old. The alligator snapper employs a unique natural lure in its hunting technique. Its tongue sports a bright-red, worm-shaped piece of flesh that, when displayed by a motionless turtle on a river bottom, draws curious fish or frogs close enough to be snatched . Due to the exotic pet trade and other factors the species has found its way to Asia and is becoming increasingly popular in Vietnam. A severe reduction in population due to unregulated harvesting and habitat loss has led states in the USA now protecting them throughout most of their range, and they are listed as a threatened species.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link to this web article online (English)



2. Viet Nam. Warning of raising Alligator snapping turtle in Vietnam

SOURCE: - DATE: 9th April 2012

Recently, keeping Alligator snapping turtles (Macrochelys temminckii) as pets has become a popular trend in Vietnam . If you search the internet for the term “selling Alligator snapping turtle ” many results come up. Some experts are afraid that this species might become a problem for the local ecosystem, like other invasive species.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


3. Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Protection of marine turtles

SOURCE: - DATE: 11th April 2012

The sub-department of capture fisheries and resources protection in Quang Ngai province, central Vietnam, cooperated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to promote the protection of marine turtles. The purpose of this campaign is to ban the trade, transportation and consumption of marine turtles.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)



4. Philippines. 20 Vietnamese fishermen arrested for poaching turtles off Palawan

SOURCE: - DATE: 13th April 2012

According to the Naval Forces West (Navforwest), twenty Vietnamese fishermen were arrested Thursday morning for poaching turtles in the seas of Balabac, southern Palawan. An initial inventory report that reached the Naval headquarters in Vietnam said that the illegally caught animals, along with the fishermen's fishing gear, was confiscated by government authorities.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)




5. USA: Global Effort Launched to Save Turtles from Extinction

SOURCE: - DATE: 11th April 2012

The Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the Bronx Zoo and other city zoos, committed this week to launch an effort to revive turtle and tortoise species on the verge of extinction—some with global populations in the single digits. The vision is for freshwater turtles and tortoises bred in New York to repopulate habitats across the world. The organization is committed to saving about half of the world's 25 most threatened turtle species but is still deciding which it is best equipped to aggressively breed in the coming years. Early estimates put the cost at about $200,000 per species.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)


6. Phu Yen Province, Vietnam. Does not sell turtle although billion Dong

SOURCE: - DATE: 9th April 2012

110 Vietnamese Pond Turtles which, according to ATP, are critically endangered, are being bred on a farm in Phu Yen Province. The farmer's name is Pham Ngoc Hoang. He raises the animals in a 40m² cage in the middle of his house. Mr. Hoang was open to share his techniques and skills to breed the species, for example, how he built his own incubator. Because he is so successful in what he does, he was invited to join a science technology study called “Pilot process of raising and breeding Vietnamese Pond Turtles in Phu Yen for conservation” by the Phu Yen Center for Fishery Multiplication. The center invested 370 million VND to carry out the study in 2012. ATP Note: although the ATP was approach to provide technical support to this project its clear intentions to breed turtles exclusively for commercial purposes has clear conflicts with the objective of the conservation organization. Ideally these animals should be placed in an assurance breeding program for the species.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)




7. Hanoi city, Vietnam. Foreign TV channel commissions documentary on the Hanoi turtle

SOURCE: - DATE: 9th April 2012

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Press Center, a Franco-German TV network called ‘Arte' has commissioned a documentary about the legendary Vietnamese turtle in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake. The film-making crew will stay in Vietnam from April 23 to May 11 to shoot the material for a 45-minute documentary and will be supported by the Vietnamese steering committee which set up to rescue of the elderly turtle in 2011, by the Hanoi Department of Science and Technology and by representatives of the Asian Turtle Program. The film-makers already revealed that the title of the documentary will be either “The Legend of the Hoan Kiem Lake” or “The Journey to find the Turtle Lord.”

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)



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