Tortoise and freshwater turtle fields records now being texted into the Vietnam office.

Photographs taken in the forest provide excellent detail for a valuable field record for the Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii) in Vietnam.

In a new development 2015 has seen the first case of useful field record information for tortoise and freshwater turtles in Vietnam being submitted from local communities.   On the 17th of June 2015 the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) office in Hanoi received a phone call from a young, 18 year old, man from the Hang ethnic group in Quynh Nhai district of Son La province in the mountainous northwest of Vietnam.

A keen conservationist, he already volunteers with another local NGO, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), and when he was in the forest near his home and came across a Keeled Box Turtle (Cuora mouhotii) in the wild he took pictures on his mobile phone, left the turtle in the wild, and submitted the picture and information to the Hanoi office.

Although this is a regular event in Europe or the USA where an army of hobbyist herpetologists seem to be out most weekends this is the first case where we have had a field record submitted to the Hanoi database from a member of the public. Normally our data comes from individuals working in NGOs, government agency or university.  The access to information and technology as well as the greater understanding of conservation in Vietnam we hope to see more field records reported in the future.

With almost 3,000 trade and field records from the Southeast Asia region the ATP database continues to grow and is becoming a valuable resource.  More information on collecting and submitting field records can be found online at LINK with a standard field record template form available for download in English and Vietnamese.

Press release: Nguyen Thu Thuy & Timothy McCormack – ATP

Date: 24th July 2015

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