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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 50, 14th October 2012

 

1. Philippines: Maritime Police foil bid to smuggle Philippine Forest Turtles out of Palawan

SOURCE: TRAFFIC - DATE: 4th October 2012

Acting on a tip off, two officers of the Philippine National Police Regional Maritime Unit recovered several freshwater turtles and crocodiles from an abandoned bag on a pier in Palawan. The turtles were packed into the pockets of the bag, while the crocodiles were held in three wire mesh cages, said Police Senior Superintendent Atanacio T. Macalan Jr, Regional Chief of Unit 4B. Macalan said the officers did not detect anyone near the abandoned bag and no arrests were made. Had the smuggler been caught, Macalan said he would have faced jail time for violating the Republic Act 9147. After the animals were transferred to the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa City, the Katala Foundation Inc. identified the animals as 7 Palawan-endemic Philippine Forest Turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis), four Asian Leaf Turtles (Cyclemys dentata), and 13 Estuarine Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus).

Macalan said the bag was meant to be loaded on to a vessel bound for Manila and in light of recent attempts to smuggle Philippine Forest Turtles out of the country, he believed it was destined to be illegally exported.

Link to this web article online (English)

 

 

2. Binh Dinh province, Vietnam: Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) rescued and released

SOURCE: Quân đội nhân dân online News - DATE: 8th October 2012

On the 8th October Nguyen Van Ai, a fisherman from Nhon Chau commune, caught a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) weighing 50kg and measuring 55cm in length. When the Department for Fishery Resources was informed about Mr Ai's catch, they immediately sent officers to his house to talk to the fisherman about the turtle and provide him with information about its endangered status. Although Mr Ai intended to sell the turtle (for 60,000VND/kg ~$2.8/kg) he was convinced to hand over the turtle to the officers who released the animal shortly after. ATP Note: As a species protected under Decree 59 it is illegal to hunt or trade marine turtles so the fisherman could have been prosecuted so handing over is not a voluntary issue.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

 

3. Nghe An province, Vietnam: Wildlife handed over for reintroduction to the wild

SOURCE: Tuoi Tre News Online - DATE: 10th October 2012

On the 10th of October a 2.5 kg Southern pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) was voluntarily handed over to the Pu Mat National Park rescue centre by Nguyen Dinh Vinh, a local from Nghi Loc District, Nghe An Province. On the same day, 2 Bourret's box turtles (Cuora bourreti) from the Cao Veu Forest Protection and Management Department and 23 live turtles (Big-headed turtles, Platysternon megacephalum and Yellow-headed temple turtles, Heosemys annandalii) seized from an illegal transport in Quynh Luu district were sent to the centre for recovery before release.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

 

4. Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam: Critically-endangered mangrove terrapin (Batagur affinis) repatriated to Cambodia

SOURCE: Education for Nature Vietnam - DATE: 11th October 2012

A large mangrove terrapin called the "Royal Turtle" in Cambodia was transferred by Vietnamese conservationists to the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries at a ceremony in HCM City on Friday, October 5th.

The critically-endangered mangrove terrapin (Batagur affinis) was repatriated to Cambodia after living more than 30 years in captivity at the Suoi Tien Cultural Tourism Park in HCM City's suburban District 9. It will be introduced into a breeding program to boost the dramatically low populations and increase genetic diversity of the captive population. The species was considered extinct in Cambodia until a small population was found in Sre Ambe river basin in 1990.

At the ceremony, Traditional Cambodian dancers welcomed guests, which included Cambodian and Vietnamese officials, and representatives from the various organizations to honour the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 4 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

 

 

5. Madagascar: 569 radiated tortoises seized at the Ivato International Airport

SOURCE: Turtle Survival Alliance - DATE: 12th October 2012

On October 10, two Asian passengers on an Air Madagascar flight to Bangkok, Thailand and Guangzhou, China were arrested at Ivato International Airport after attempting to smuggle four suitcases full of 569 Critically Endangered Radiated Tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) through customs. After the confiscation, the Malagasy Forestry Authority mandated the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) to look after the baby tortoises. Of the group, three were already dead and ten are currently in very poor condition. The tortoises are currently being housed at the offices shared by the TSA and the MBP in Antananarivo, but there are not sufficient facilities available there to deal with the massive influx of animals. They will be kept there (in newly constructed pen and under the supervision of part-time keepers) until the investigation against the poachers is complete and the TSA is given permission to move forward with reintroduction plans that will send the tortoises back to the spiny forests in the southern Madagascar.

Link to this web article online (English)
 

 

6.  USA: Rare turtle breaks through egg shell and takes two days to emerge

SOURCE: Daily Mail Online News - DATE: 12th October 2012

A Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii), native to China, India, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, has hatched after 126 days of incubation in Tennessee Aquarium, USA but took 2 days to emerge. It is the first time that the aquarium has successfully hatched a Keeled Box Turtle and it is one of only about 20 in accredited zoos and aquariums in the entire US. The Keeled Box Turtle has a very brittle shell and it is not uncommon for the parents to crush them by accident. Like many other Southeast Asian Turtles, Keeled Box Turtles have been over-collected in the wild for food, medicine and the pet trade. Several conservation organisations are working to protect the remaining wild populations from illegal trade, while zoos and aquariums are working toward increasing assurance populations to make sure the species does not go extinct if these animals disappear in the wild.

Link to this web article online (English)

 

 

 
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