Turtle Art Inspires conservation for the endangered Big-headed Turtle in Vietnam

We are proud to share our recently produced awareness poster for the endangered Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum), a species that in the past few decades has suffered intensive hunting and illegal trade throughout its range in southern China, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Myanmar.  The Big-headed Turtle is also evolutionarily unique in that it exists as the only species within its genus and family, the taxonomic groups above species; as a result, the Big-headed Turtle has been designated as an Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species, as part of the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE of Existence initiative.

As part of a Big-headed Turtle EDGE project, the Asian Turtle Program of Indo Myanmar Conservation has been working in Vietnam with numerous international and local partners to assess the release strategy for confiscated Big-headed Turtles over the past three years as part of a strategy to support the safe release of rescued turtles back into the wild and to improve their long-term chance of survival after release. The poster artwork was drawn by the up and coming Vietnamese artist, Jeet Zdung, and is stylised on the ‘Dong Ho Paintings’, a traditional folk-art style from Vietnam that was traditionally made using woodcut stamps and painting. The posters have been distributed to wildlife protection officers around key sites for the Big-headed Turtle and will be given out during community meetings and activities.

The English design of the poster with the slogan ‘Big-headed Turtles Want To Be Free’. Image by ATP/IMC

Date: 26th March 2021
Press release by: Timothy McCormack- ATP/IMC

We would like to thank Jeet Zdung and Nguyen Ngoc Hoan for their amazing artwork and the Fondation Segré Conservation Fund, the EDGE of Existence programme, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Paignton Zoo, Nordens Ark, the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES), Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ), Cuc Phuong National Park and Pu Mat National Park, and all of our numerous partners for supporting the development and printing of this poster.

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