A new awareness poster for the critically endangered Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) has been completed. The species is better known in Vietnam for the legendary softshell turtle inhabiting Hoan Kiem Lake in central Hanoi, where a single large remaining animal of this species is affectionately known by Hanoian’s as Rua Hoan Kiem (the Hoan Kiem Turtle). With only four animals known in existence globally, two in China and two in Vietnam the species is now considered by many to be the most endangered turtle species in the world. The poster is to be distributed during interview surveys throughout northern Vietnam conducted by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) searching for additional animals and habitat. As well as increasing awareness to the importance of these large turtles and their link to the sacred animal in Hanoi the poster also carries contact information allowing people to report information on possible additional sites for the species.
20th October 2010
This poster was completed by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo with Education for Nature Vietnam. Support for the poster was provided by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), Birdlife International and Columbus Zoo. We would like to thank all those who have supported our work and the Rafetus swinhoeiProject, especially the Forest Protection Department (FPD) and the People’s Committee of Vietnam.