Awareness signboard for local communities living near the endemic Vietnamese Pond TurtlePosted by On

The Vietnamese Pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis) is endemic to Central Vietnam, and does not exist anywhere else in the world. As a species that all Vietnamese should be proud of a significant part of the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) Mauremys annamensis Project is focused on raising awareness to the species throughout its range.

Within Binh Son district, Quang Ngai province a small, fragmented population of the species survives making the site one of the only areas where the species still remains. With plans to establish a Species Habitat Conservation Area (SHCA) and Turtle Assurance Colony (TAC) for breeding and conservation, it is also an focal district for conservation.

On the 3rd of October 2013 two large awareness signboards were erected in prominent positions near the markets Binh Khuong and Binh Minh communes of Binh Son district. Close to remaining wetlands and artificial lakes Mauremys annamensis is still caught annually in the area. Detailed content and visual images are aimed to catch the attention of regular visitors to the markets, focal points for these small communities. As well as general information about the species the critically endangered status of Vietnamese Pond turtle and what local communities can do to help its conservation are highlighted.

In addition to the market boards fifteen small awareness boards were hung in local schools, people’s committee buildings and local cultural houses. The signboards were developed by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) to highlight the importance of the species and what local communities can do to help protect these rare, yet uniquely Vietnamese turtles.

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, U.S Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) and the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF). As well as local partners and agencies, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), the Forest Protection Department (FPD), Southern Institute of Ecology (SIE) and the People’s Committee of Vietnam.

Press release by: Pham Ton Viet Bach & Tim McCormack – ATP

Date: 4th October 2013

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