Asian Turtle Program
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No. 272, 3rd February 2017

1. Second TSC Cuora Complex Update
SOURCE: - DATE: 23rd January 2017

2017 is poised to be another great year for the Turtle Survival Centre (TSC), as a second Cuora Complex moves ever nearer to completion.

The genus Cuora, or Asian Box Turtles, comprises some of the most critically endangered turtle species in the world, as its members are highly sought for the international pet trade, traditional medicine, and food markets. Due to this genus extremely precarious status,Cuora is among the top conservation priorities for the TSA and TSC.

Link to this web article online (English)

Cuora complex


Star Tortoises



2. India: 280 star tortoises rescued from Chikkaballapur
SOURCE: – DATE: 30th January 2017

In a joint mission conducted by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) and Crime Investigation Department (CID) Forest Cell, 280 Star Tortoises (Geochelone elegans) were seized from a house in Sidlaghatta taluk of Chikkaballapur district (Karnataka, India) on Sunday morning (the 29th January 2017).

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Indonesia: Efforts to conserve sea turtles disrupted by a coal plant in East Java
SOURCE: – DATE: 31st January 2017

Fuel for Indonesia's Pacitan coal-fired power plant is brought by sea-going barges, which pass through turtle breeding areas.

Conservation areas near the power plant provide nesting sites for Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Olive Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). Local conservationists say the presence of coal barges - and several spills - reduces the number of hatchlings.

Villagers say the river near the power plant is now empty of the fish and shrimp that once formed a regular part of the local diet.

Link to this web article online (English)


© Nuswantoro

ATP staff visit ZSL


4. Vietnam: The Asian turtle crisis
SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd February 2017

Vietnam is home to a number of Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) reptiles, including the big headed turtle (Platysternon megacephalum), Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) and the Annam leaf turtle (Mauremys annamensis). In Vietnam, habitat loss, intensive hunting and trade means that 16 of the 25 species of tortoise and freshwater turtle confirmed for the country are highly threatened. The combination of threats and priorities makes the country an important nation for both in situ and ex situ conservation efforts.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. Rescued giant turtle sent back home to Malaysia
SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd February 2017

An endangered Malaysian Giant Turtle (Orlitia borneensis) rescued in Singapore has been sent back to Malaysia to get a second chance at living in the wild, said the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) on Thursday (the 2nd of February 2017).

The turtle, named Rahayu, was rescued by ACRES in October 2015 after it was found crossing a road in Lim Chu Kang with a fish hook lodged in its mouth. The hook has since been removed.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

rescue giant turtle

© Tan Chuan-Jin


© M. Celeskey

6. Pokémon-Loving Paleontologists Dub Newly Discovered 'Turtle-Pig' Fossil A Bulbasaurus
SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd February 2017

Ever wanted to see a real Pokémon? Meet Bulbasaurus phylloxyron. Interesting for reasons beyond its name, Bulbasaurus is a newly discovered species of an ancient mammalian relative called a dicynodont. It is described by palaeontologists Christian Kammerer of Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and Rodger Smith at the University of Witwatersrand and Iziko Museums of South Africa in a recent paper in PeerJ.

Dicynodonts almost defy a recognizable description. They are relatives of mammals, but bear more of a resemblance to reptiles. Dicynodonts are very strange-looking animals, with a turtle-like beak, tusks, and a stocky body sort of like a pig. There is nothing alive today quite like them, but they were the most successful herbivores of their time,” explains study author Christian Kammerer.

Link to this web article online (English)


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