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The Mauremys annamensis Project (MAP)

 

Overview

The Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) is a species of particular conservation concern, a highly localised endemic found only in densely populated coastal lowlands of a few provinces of central Vietnam from Da Nang south to Phu Yen. The wild ecology and distribution of the species was first described in 1939, but with no field records for the species made again until 2007 when a Mauremys annamensis was caught in the wild in Quang Nam province by the ATP. Many gaps remain in knowledge on the species (Bourret, 1941). Although fully protected under Vietnam’s principal wildlife protection law, Decree 32, in 2006 the species is still heavily hunted for sale into the wildlife trade. At present this species is not believed to occur in any protected areas, this furthers increases the urgency for which habitat must be identified if successful conservation activities are to be focused.

Distribution: Believed distributed from Da Nang to Phu Yen and possibly Gia Lai, Kom Tum province

Habitat: Suitable lowland wetland habitat, ponds and wetlands in association with rivers

Threats: Major causes of their decline are habitat loss, and illegal hunting and trade

Above: Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) in Quang Nam province

Above: A captive bred Mauremys annamensis in its natural element, underwater shot by Paul Lester at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park

Activities to date

During 2001 and 2004 initial surveys were conducted. In 2006 intensive surveys were undertaken throughout Quang Nam province, where historical records for the species exist. Surveys focused on observations and descriptions of Mauremys annamensis in locate trade to identify possible wild locations. Nine Mauremys annamensis were seen in the province and information indicated that animals were still being caught in two districts, Dien Ban and Duy Xuyen. In November 2006 further survey in these locations using aquatic traps resulted in the first wild capture of a Mauremys annamensis in over 67 years, confirming the species remains in the wild.

Following this success the ATP initiated the Mauremys annamensis Project (MAP) in 2007. The objective of MAP was to survey additional central provinces to identify additional wetland habitat, and conduct awareness and training activities focused on the species. During 2008, more sites were confirmed in Quang Ngai province where two Mauremys annamensis were being kept in the local community surrounding a wetland complex. Community meetings in this area were held in villages surrounding priority habitat. Education programs are already being undertaken in local schools by our local partner, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV).

In January 2009, Quang Ngai FPD successfully confiscated 19 turtle included six individuals of Mauremys annamensis. These animals were transferred to the Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park which has been successful in breeding this species from 18 founder animals. At present the TCC has almost 200 Vietnamese Pond Turtles. They are waiting for releasing back to the wild at their historical distribution.

Above: With the species being a priority for conservation activities by the ATP, this poster highlights the protected status and conservation threats of the endemic Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) in Central Vietnam

 

Future Research & Conservation Needs:

 
   
   

Links to other Mauremys activities:

 

10th October 2012 - Ranger Training in central Vietnam focus's on endemic tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation

19th September 2012 - Community Football Tournament Increases Vietnamese Pond Turtle Conservation Awareness

15th June 2012 - First Mauremys annamensis eggs of the season at the TCC

1st June 2012 - Hybrid between Vietnamese Pond Turtle and Chinese Stripe Necked Turtle found in central Vietnam

20th September 2011 - Chinese stripe necked turtles found during a field survey in the lowlands of central Vietnam

24th April 2011 - Football for Conservation, the Vietnamese Pond Turtle

20th October 2010 - Protected Impressed Tortoise rescued by Quang Ngai Provincial Forest Protection Department

October 2010 - New awareness poster produced for the Vietnamese Pond Turtle

12th February 2010 - Environmental Education Training Course Focuses on Turtle Conservation in Vietnam

19th June 2008 - New surveys for the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) identify additional suitable habitat for the species

12th May 2006 - Endemic Vietnamese Pond turtles come home
May 2006 - Finding the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) in central Vietnam

 

Thank you:

 

We would like to thank all those who have supported our work and the Mauremys annamensis Project. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Birdlife International, The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF). As well as local partners and agencies, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), the Forest Protection Department (FPD) and the People's Committee of Vietnam.

birdlife cepf

mbz TCF

Support Our Conservation Activities, if you would like our program and activities please visit our donations page or click the donate button

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For more information please contact:

Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metoparks Zoo,
Office: Room#1302, Thanh Cong Tower, 57 Lang Ha Street,
Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam

Tel: +84 (0) 4 3514 9750
Fax: +84 (0) 4 3514 9750 Ext11

Email: info@asianturtleprogram.org

 

 

 
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