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No. 75, 15th April 2013

1. Ha Tinh, Vietnam: 300 million Vietnam dong for a 1.4-kg turtle

DATE: 12th April, 2013

Earlier this month, Mr Le Van Trung, vice president of the People's Committee of My Loc Commune, Can Loc district, Ha Tinh province, confirmed a rumor that a local person in the area had caught a 1.4-kg Chinese three-striped box turtle (Cuora trifasciata) and sold it for 300 million VND (approx. $14,371). The turtle was caught in the forest between My Loc commune and Dong Loc commune. It is said to be the first turtle of this species caught in this area. Cuora trifasciata is believed by many to have special medical effects and is called ‘Golden Turtle' in China where they believe it can cure cancer (ATP Note: for which there is no evidence). However, human's overexploitation is pushing this species to the edge of extinction.

ATP Note:
The photos in Link 1 and Link 2 show an Elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata)

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


2. Bangladesh, India: River Terrapin Egg-Laying Season in Full Swing

SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd April, 2013

From Bangladesh to Cambodia, River Terrapins (Genus Batagur ) are laying eggs - and lot of them - both in the wild and captivity. Short summaries of River Terrapin nesting activity in programs managed by the TSA and their partners:

- Northern River Terrapin or Sunderban Batagur (B. baska):
In Bangladesh, at the captive breeding center at Bhawal National Park, the first nest (19 eggs) was laid on the 21st of March, followed by two more nests on two days later, consisting of 22 and 14 eggs respectively. There are 14 males and 5 females in this breeding colony. In India, at the B. bask a breeding center at Sajnekhali, in West Bengal, TSA India Director Shai Singh reports that two females are emerging every night and making trial digs in the newly created nesting enclosure. Last year 50 total hatchlings emerged from these two Centers.

- Indian Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga): there are approximately 135 Batagur nests under protection at the hatcheries on the National Chambal River Sanctuary, the majority of those B. dhongoka. The number of nesting females appears to be down this year, likely due to low rainfall, hence the sandbanks have not been restored.

- Burmese Roofed Turtle (Batagur trivittata): 169 eggs from seven nests are now being protected on the Upper Chindwin River in Myanmar, numbers consistent with recent years. Rediscovered in 2002, there are now over 600 B. trivittata being maintained in two assurance colonies in central Myanmar and in the head starting facility at Linpha Village on the Chindwin.

- Southern River Terrapin (Batagur affinis): Since 2003, 270 hatchings have been produced, of which 136 are being head started in Cambodia and 140 were released back into the Sre Ambel River. This year two nests on the Sre Ambel - totaling 24 eggs - are being protected. Also, a pair of wild-caught terrapins has been transferred there for breeding purposes.

Link to this web article online (English)


3. Quang Tri, Vietnam: Quang Tri customs seize 70 kg of turtles and other wildlife

DATE: 1st April, 2013

On the 30th of March, customs officers of the Lao Bao border crossing in Hướng Hóa district, Quang Tri Province pulled over a car that was on its way from Vientiane (Laos) to Hue (Vietnam). The Vietnamese driver said that he was hired to transport 70 kilograms of wild animals including turtles, softshell turtles, lizards, rat snakes, monocled cobras (Naja kaouthia), and other wildlife to Hue. All animals were transferred to the local Forest Protection Department (FPD).

ATP NOTE: no additional information available on the species of turtles involved but the photographs show large Asiatic Softshell Turtles (Amyda cartilaginea).

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


4. Ca Mau, Vietnam: Ca Mau Cape national park receives Ramsar title

SOURCE: VnExpress
DATE: 15th April, 2013

Mui Ca Mau (Ca Mau Cape) National Park in the southernmost Vietnamese province of Ca Mau received the certificate recognizing it as the 2,088 th world Ramsar site at a ceremony on the 13th of April 2013. As one of the three main areas of the UNESCO-recognised Ca Mau Cape Biosphere Reserve, the Ca Mau Cape National Park covers 41,862 hectares, including 15,262 hectares of land and 26,600 hectares of coastal areas in low-lying saline land. Encompassing Dat Mui, Vien An and Dat Moi communes in Ngoc Hien district, the national park is home to 93 species of birds, 26 species of mammals, 43 species of reptiles, nine species of amphibians, 233 fish species, including a lot of rare species such as the grey-legged pelican (Pelecanus philippinensis), the Chinese stork, the Malayan box turtle (Cuora amboinensis), the yellow-heahed temple turtle (Heosemys annandalii), the Malayan snail-eating turtle (Malayemys subtrijuga), the black marsh turtle (Siebenrockiella crassicollis), and the Asiatic softshell turtle (Amyda cartilaginea). Ca Mau Cape National Park is the fifth Ramsar site in Vietnam, together with Xuan Thuy Natural Wetland Reserve in the Red River Delta province of Nam Dinh, Ba Be Lake in the northern mountainous province of Bac Kan, Bau Sau in Cat Tien National Park in the southern province of Dong Nai and Tram Chim National Park in the southern province of Dong Thap. About Ramsar: The Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) -- called the "Ramsar Convention" -- is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their Wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the "wise use", or sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)



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