Asian Turtle Program
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No. 55, 18th November 2012


1. Hanoi, Vietnam: Illegal transport of turtles and water monitors discovered

SOURCE: An ninh Thủ đô online news; - DATE: 15th November 2012

On the 14th of November, the environmental police and traffic police pulled over a truck on Phap Van highway (Hoang Mai district), Hanoi, and discovered 20 kg of turtles (unknown species) and 87 kg of water monitors (Varanus salvator). The man transporting the animals failed to show legal documents for the shipment and the animals were transferred to the authorities.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)



2. Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam: Rangers committed to Hawksbill turtle head-starting program

SOURCE: Phu Nu today online news; - DATE: 17th November 2012

The Con Dao National Park in Khanh Hoa province, is currently keeping a close eye on thousands of egg of Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). In an attempt to protect these species whose survival rate until maturity ranges from 0.1% to 0.01%, 6 rangers in the national park stay ready during the nesting season to relocate eggs to safe areas as soon as they are laid and the females have returned to the ocean. The rangers say that the eggs are moved inshore to prevent saltwater flushing out the nests and the eggs rotting. Later, the rangers will ensure that the hatchlings can safely make their way to the sea.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


3. USA: Lonesome George's species may not be extinct after all

SOURCE: redOrbit – Your University online; - DATE: 18th November 2012

At the time of his death, it appeared that Lonesome George was the last member of his species, but new research suggests that his breed of giant tortoises might live on after all. According to Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News, experts at Yale University have reportedly discovered DNA evidence suggesting that members of the species Chelonoidis abingdoni could still exist. Researchers collected genetic material from more than 1,600 giant tortoises, and discovered 17 hybrids that were ancestors of Lonesome George — and some of them could have been sired by purebred C. abingdoni tortoises, Viegas added. Their findings have been published in the journal Biological Conservation.
And in related research, scientists from the University of Florence, are investigating baby Hermann's tortoises in order to determine the effect of sperm storage on the creature's fertilization process, BBC Nature‘s Michelle Warwicker reported on Friday. According to Warwicker, female members of the species tend to mate with multiple male partners, and are capable of storing sperm within their bodies for multiple years. The researchers determined that when siblings sired by multiple fathers were hatched, the mating order of those fathers did not impact the chances of a successful fertilization.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)


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