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ATP WEEKLY TURTLE BULLETIN

No. 6, 18th November 2011

1. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Seizure of illegal shipment of 21 Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

SOURCE: phapluattp.vn – DATE: 18th November 2011

In the morning of November 17th, 2011, a market management team of district 12 in Ho Chi Minh City and the Department of Capture Fisheries and Resources Protection seized 21 Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) that were being shipped from Tien Giang province to Ninh Thuan Province, Vietnam. Although protected in Vietnam 14 of the turtles were already dead. The seven individuals that were found alive were transferred to the Cu Chi Wildlife Conservation Centre of Wildlife at Risk (WAR).

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2. Hanoi city, Vietnam. All efforts will be in vain if there is no way found to breed the Hoan Kiem turtle

SOURCE: thiennhien.net – DATE: 14th November 2011

The Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) is not only a symbol of Hanoi and important to Vietnamese culture due to it relationship to a 15 th century legend, it is also important to conservation. The species is considered one of the most endangered turtles in the world. Only four individuals are known to exist, two in the Shouzou zoo in China, one in the Dong Mo Lake outside of Hanoi and a single large individual in Hanoi's Hoan Kiem Lake. According to the program coordinator of the Asian Turtle Program (ATP), Timothy McCormack, it is very important to protect Hoan Kiem turtles (Rafetus swinhoei) and if there is no method found to successfully breed this species then there will be no hope for the Hoan Kiem turtles in the future.

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3. Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Rescue of sea turtles

SOURCE: sgtt.vn – DATE: 15th November 2011

In only one month, Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, Vietnam, local residents have released three turtles into the sea of which two were Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata). Recently a large number of sea turtles were caught in fishing nets and kept at local homes to be slaughtered. “It is very sad that, we now rarely see sea turtles coming to the shore to lay eggs” Mr. Vo Khac En, an official of Exploitation of Fisheries Resources Protection Department said. Knowing that some sea turtle species are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Khanh Hoa authorities have taken action to raise community awareness to protect these species.

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4. Madagascar. 40% of Madagascar's reptiles are at risk of extinction

SOURCE: mongabay.com – DATE: 10th November 2011

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports in its latest update of the Red List of Threatened Species that 40 percent of Madagascar's terrestrial reptiles are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and over-collection for the pet trade. The critically endangered category is dominated by tortoises, chameleons, and geckos. Notable members of the list include the Radiated Tortoise, the Ploughshare Tortoise, the Madagascar Big-headed Turtle, the Flat-tailed Tortoise, the Spider Tortoise, the Belalanda Chameleon, the Namoroka Leaf Chameleon, Tarzan's Chameleon, and Rothschild's Skink. Urgent conservation action is required to avoid loosing some of these beautiful and unique species.

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