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No. 288, 26th May 2017


1. Turtle trafficker conviction highlights illegal trade threat to turtles on World Turtle Day
SOURCE: – DATE: 23rd May 2017

World Turtle Day: a recent conviction in Malaysia has highlighted the threat to freshwater turtles from illegal trade to supply an apparently growing demand for rare species in Southeast Asia.

Last week, a wanted turtle trafficker was sentenced to 39 months' imprisonment by a Malaysian court after he was found guilty of illegal possession of 20 internationally protected Black Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii). According to Malaysia's Wildlife Department, Indian national, Bakrudin Ali Ahamed Habeeb was arrested on the 9th of May in a Kuala Lumpur hotel by officers who found the 20 turtles in three suitcases.

Link to this web article online (English)

turtle confiscation

© Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia

wildlife traffic


2. Wildlife Traffickers Exploiting Airlines Worldwide
SOURCE: - DATE: 22nd May 2017

A new analysis of global airport wildlife seizure and trafficking data reveals that wildlife traffickers around the world are heavily exploiting the air transport sector to smuggle protected and endangered animals and animal products on commercial flights.

The report, “Flying Under the Radar: Wildlife Trafficking in the Air Transport Sector,” produced by C4ADS as part of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership, analyses airport seizures of ivory, rhino horn, birds and reptiles from January 2009 to August 2016. Collectively, these four categories account for about 66 percent of all trafficked wildlife, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and serve as indicators for wider trends within illicit wildlife trafficking.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Vietnam: Enterprises to combat illegal trade of wildlife
SOURCE: – DATE: 24th May 2017

Representatives from different Vietnamese enterprises committed to fulfil their responsibility to protect wildlife at a workshop held on the 24th of May 2017 in Hanoi.

The workshop, titled “Enterprises lead corporate social responsibility to integrate zero-tolerance to wildlife consumption”, was organised by the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network (TRAFFIC) and the Việt Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI). At the workshop, representatives from different enterprises signed a commitment to join hands to prevent illegal trade and consumption of animal parts, including rhino horns.

Link to this web article online (English)




4. China: Hope to hatch: last 3 of world’s rarest turtle species await egg-laying season
SOURCE: - DATE: 25th May 2017

The whole world's hope for the survival of the rarest turtle species now rests on two turtles at Suzhou Zoo in Jiangsu province, China as the female is expected to lay eggs in June after another round of artificial insemination.

This special turtle species, the Yangtze Giant Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), is one of the most critically endangered animals in the world. Only three Yangtze giant softshell turtles are known to be living.

The pair in Suzhou was given a third round of artificial insemination in April, and the result will come out in June, when the female lays eggs. Previous trials in 2015 and 2016 both failed to fertilize any eggs.

Link to this web article online (English)

Rafetus swihoei


Rafetus swihoei


5. The USA: Study of relocated desert tortoises reveals a surprise
SOURCE: - DATE: 25th May 2017

Results of a study on the relocation of a community of Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii) in California, the USA has unveiled a mystery: When moved only a short distance from their habitat, the females in the group assimilated to their new location and reproduced normally -- but not the transported males.

The study originated in 2008 with a planned expansion of Fort Irwin National Training Centre in the Mojave Desert. The Smithsonian Institute's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has completed parentage analysis after the relocation and has found that none of the transported males had sired any offspring. In contrast, all the moved females and the resident tortoises had adjusted well and reproduced.

Link to this web article online (English)

Desert Tortoise

© University of Wisconsin



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