From the 17th – 20th of January 2015, Dr Peter Pritchard has been visiting northern Vietnam. As one of the world’s most highly regarded turtle scientists, it has been a pleasure to have him in Hanoi. During the visit on the 17th of January, Dr Pritchard visited Hoan Kiem Lake with the ATP team to meet Vietnam’s own expert on the Hoan Kiem Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), Professor Ha Dinh Duc and Nguyen Xuan Thuan who was the first to photograph the species in the wild. Thanks to this memorable meeting, Dr Pritchard and Professor Duc had the opportunity to catch up on the many past trips during which they have met. We were also fortunate enough to see the Hoan Kiem Turtle twice, first basking on the Turtle Island in the middle of the lake in the morning then from only a few metres away from the Ngoc Son Temple on the lake in the afternoon.
On the 18th of January, Dr Pritchard took a trip to the ATP project site at Dong Mo Lake to see the only known wild habitat for the species and see a recently constructed sandbank built in the hope of attracting nesting from animals in the large lake.
We would like to thank both Dr Pritchard and Professor Duc for all they have done to raise the profile, knowledge and conservation of the species and all our supporters who make the Rafetus swinhoei project possible and for the nesting beach the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF), Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) who made this happen.
Press release by: Tim McCormack – ATP
Date: 22nd January 2015