Football for conservation, first match held for Vietnamese Pond Turtle in central Vietnam


On the 23rd and 24th of April 2011 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo organized the first Turtle Football Cup in Binh Son district, Quang Ngai Province. Teams from eight villages played to promote awareness and conservation of the critically endangered Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis), An endemic species of central Vietnam known only to occur in low land areas where its habitat has rapidly disappeared for rice and plantations. This loss of habitat along with sever hunting pressure mean the species is now recognized as one of the world most endangered species.

The matches were played in Binh Khuong commune where the ATP intends to work with the Forest Protection Department (FPD) of the province to construct a new Turtle Assurance colony (TAC) for the species. “Community support is key in ensuring a future for this species in the wild” said Mr Duong Dinh Vuong” of the ATP during the opening ceremony.

Following some close games in which one went to penalties, the Youth Union team of Thanh Tra village emerged as champions of the day. With the success of the first Turtle Football Cup, Mr. Tim McCormack, the Program Coordinator intends to expand the games in 2012 to include additional communities to raise the profiles of turtle conservation in the area.

The first Turtle Football Cup for Mauremys annamensis was undertaken in collaboration with Eduction for Nature Vietnam (ENV) with supported from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF) as well as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ).

Tireless teams played hard during two days of matches between eight villages surrounding critical Vietnamese Pond turtle habitat

Thank you:

The first Turtle Football Cup for Mauremys annamensis was undertaken in collaboration with Eduction for Nature Vietnam (ENV) with supported from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF) as well as the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ).

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