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No. 74, 7th April 2013

Ha Tinh, Vietnam: 10 orange-headed temple turtles were released into the wild

Follow up Bulletin No. 73

DATE: 6th April 2013

10 orange-headed temple turtles (Heosemys grandis), seized from a smuggler on the 27 th of March were released back to the wild on the 6th of April 2013. They were released to Ke Go Nature Reserve by Ha Tinh Province Branch of Forest Protection Department (FPD). Before they were released Ha Tinh veterinary agency checked the health of all individuals. ATP NOTE: Heosemys grandis is not native to Ha Tinh Province and really these aniamls should have been transferred to a holding facility before transferring back to origin or natural range and habitat.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

© C.Thanh

2. Indonesia: Indonesia confiscates pig-nosed turtles, hunts for smugglers

SOURCE: REDORBIT, – DATE: 2nd April, 2013

687 baby pig-nosed turtles, (Carettochelys insculpta), that inhabit freshwater streams and rivers in Australia and Papua New Guinea, were found on a flight stopping in Jakarta, Indonesia, while travelling from Papua New Guinea to Hong Kong on the 15th of March. It is estimated these turtles could have netted their smuggler an estimated $13,000. Teguh Samudro, the head of Jakarta's Fish Quarantine, Quality Control and Fishery Products Safety Agency (BKIPM) told the Jakarta Post. “The packages were broken when they arrived at the airport, so we could tell what was inside,”. It is still unclear why it took BKIPM more than two weeks to disclose information about the case. Samudro also stated they had no information on who the packages belonged to. Now officials are looking for the alleged smugglers and Samudro said that that the smugglers, whoever they may be, will face some serious penalties. The Jakarta Natural Resources Center now has custody of the turtles and will care for them before sending them back home to Papua New Guinea.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)


Quang Tri, Vietnam: A hawksbill sea turtle was released back to sea

DATE: April 5th, 2013

The family of Mrs. Nguyen Thi Cuc (Cua Viet town, Gio Linh district, Quang Tri province) was reported to local authorities for keeping a critically endangered hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). The Department of Rural and Agriculture Development of Quang Tri province asked Mrs. Cuc to hand the animal over and released it back to the sea. The rare turtle measured 40 cm in length, 30 cm in width and weighed approximately 5 kg. The critically endangered turtle is also listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) preventing international trade and also protected under Vietnamese national law Decree 59/2008-QD-BNN. Before the turtle was released, a tracking device was attached to the animal in order to monitor its movement and improve conservation activities for the species.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)



4. Mahé – Seychelles: A great fault in identifying a turtle species

DATE: April 5th, 2013

The Seychelles Mud Turtle (Pelusios seychellensis) was considered an endemic species of Mahé island, Seychelles (Africa) and declared extinct in 2003 by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While humans have contributed to the extinction of several turtle and tortoise species, DNA evidence shows Pelusios seychellensis is not one of them, a team from Germany and Austria write in the journal PloS One. Genetic comparisons showed the species to be one and the same as the widespread West African mud turtle (Pelusios castaneus), of which a handful of individuals may have been brought to the archipelago by humans long ago, and mistaken for endemic. Even more likely -- dried museum specimens of the now discredited P seychellensis were wrongly labeled as originating in the Seychelles, say the researchers.

Link to this web article online (English)

Link to the scientific article (English)


© Loran-Wikimedia Commons

5. Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam: Release endangered turtle back to sea

Follow up Bulletin No. 73

SOURCE: – DATE: March 29th, 2013

The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta Caretta) caught on the 28 th of March 2013, by fishermen from Hai Ninh village, Tinh Gia district, Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam, will be released back to the sea, according to Mr Ngo Van Minh, Director of Marine Resources and Environment Management. The turtle was found to have an injury on its belly, and a red paint mark on its shell. However, there was no identification and tracking microchip found.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

© Ngoc Minh

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