Turtle Survival Alliance visit the Turtle Conservation Centre and Rafetus field sites

The group enjoyed a successful day at Dong Mo, searching for Rafetus. Photo credit: Nguyen Van Trong (ATP/IMC).

From the 30th of January to the 2nd of February, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) was delighted to host staff from the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) and San Diego Zoo. The visit was a chance to visit some key projects of the ATP/IMC, including the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong and Dong Mo Lake where we have the Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) project.

They then accompanied ATP staff to the two most important wild habitats for Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), a species whose conservation is support by a partnership between TSA and ATP. Both lakes which currently contain wild Rafetus are found in an area to the west of Hanoi: Dong Mo and Xuan Khanh are monitored by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC).

At the Turtle Conservation Centre, we had the opportunity to talk about exciting future developments at the centre and see some amazing animals, many of which we hope to release during 2019. In Dong Mo the team was lucky enough to spot the Dong Mo turtle, with the animal even surfacing five times in a 30-minute period, just 50m from their vantage point. This was a momentous occasion for the three guests from TSA and San Diego Zoo and Jack Carney, a recent Master Graduate from Leeds University in the UK and a new member of the ATP/IMC team for whom it was the first opportunity to see the Rafetus in the wild.

A collaboration between the ATP/IMC, TSA, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Global Wildlife and the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) – Hanoi, has been developed for the conservation of the Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle in Vietnam. We hope to bring more on this soon.

We are thankful for the continued support of our partners, such as TSA, for our efforts both at the TCC and in our field sites around Vietnam. Thank you!

Press release: Jack Carney – ATP/IMC
Date: 5th February 2019

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