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No. 47, 23rd September 2012


1. Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam: Car carrying rare wildlife stopped

SOURCE: Đài tiếng nói Việt Nam; - DATE: 14th September 2012

On the 13th of September 2012 mobile rangers and a forest fire prevention team pulled over a car on the 1A national highway in Quang Xuong district (Thanh Hoa province) which was carrying 15 big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) weighing 7kg and 1 oriental rat snake (Ptyas mucosa) weighing 2.5 kg . Both of these species are listed in category IIB in the Red List of Vietnam. The car owner - Nguyen Xuan Hai, 35, from Gia Lai province, was fined 40 million VND ($1919.48) while the animals' origins are currently being investigated.

ATP NOTE: On the 13th of September these turtles and the snake were auctioned off for over 14 million VND (1.8 million VND (~ $37.38) per kg for the big-headed turtles, 700,000 VND (~ $33.59) per kg for the oriental snake).  

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


2. Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam: Namyit ocean conservation centre approved

SOURCE: An ninh thủ đô Online; - DATE: 16th September 2012

The Prime Minister of Vietnam has approved the proposal for establishing the Namyit ocean conservation centre in Nha Trang city – Khanh Hoa province, central Vietnam. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will monitor and supervise the construction of this centre. It will be located in an area important for marine wildlife, including various marine turtle species. Claimed to be Namyit Island is one islands of the Spratly Islands in South China Sea which are also claimed by China and under dispute. With an area of 5.3 hectares, it is the twelfth largest Spratly island and the fifth largest among the Vietnamese-administered Spratly islands. Namyit Island is about 450 km from Nha Trang. Approximately 250 coral species and a myriad of other rare species are found throughout the area. Both the endangered Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), reportedly continue to nest on the Spratly islands, though it is believed that their numbers have declined (Cheng 1995).

One region of the Spratly Archipelago, called Truong Sa (also under the jurisdiction of Khanh Hoa province), was also proposed as a future protected area by Vietnam's Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (MOSTE) and international scientists. However, an operational management plan has not been prepared for the site.

Building the Namyit ocean conservation centre could potentially be important for national defence matters as these islands are claimed by Vietnam, China, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to more information on the ecological importance of the Spartly Islands (English)


3. Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam: High demand makes reptile farms flourish

SOURCE: Tuổi trẻ Online; - DATE: 18th September, 2012

Every year, Mr Huynh Chi Cong (Phuoc An commune, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh city) earns billions of VND (hundreds of thousands of USD) from reptile farming . He reportedly has exported 2 tons of turtles to China for a price of 400,000 VND (~ $19.19) per kg from the beginning of this year. He also claimed that his farm was capable of exporting around 4 – 6 tons of commercial snakes and monitor lizards at the rate of 400,000 (~ $19.19) to 600,000 VND (~ $28.79) per kg in 2012.
Mr. Huynh Chi Cong previously worked as a truck driver but switched his jobs and established a small farm 4 years ago. Since then he continues to expand his farm and keeps hundreds of animals of various species (currently he keeps 500 monitor lizards and 700 turtles - unknown species). Apart from commercial products, the farm also provides founder animals for other farms. However, he only provided information on the artificial incubation of his snakes and did not release any information on how he is breeding his turtles.
Since demand for his products is always higher than the supply Mr Cong established a co-operation with 5 other farms but still claims they can only meet50% of the demand.

ATP NOTE: unfortunately the proliferation of farms has been problematic for turtle conservation as monitoring and regulations on farms remain weak with many wild caught animals still entering farms and being laundered through the system. The raising of most hard-shell turtle species to commercial sizes takes years of investment and is difficult with many species difficult to maintain and breed in captivity. Greater monitoring of farms is required to protected Vietnam's turtle species.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


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