Hong Kong Students Visit To Learn About Tortoise & Freshwater Turtle Conservation In Vietnam

ATP/IMC’s Nguyen Tai Thang shows the students how to search for turtles underwater using the fish-finder. Photo credit: Jack Carney (ATP/IMC).

From the 3rd-13th June 2019,  ATP/IMC welcomed three students from Hong Kong, who were visiting Vietnam to learn more about our work as part of a project funded by Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong (OPCFHK)

During their time in Vietnam, the students travelled to Dong Mo Lake, west of Hanoi, to work on the Rafetus project. This project was developed to conserve the world’s most endangered turtle, Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei). The students received first-hand experience carrying out observations for this species, building a floating raft to encourage basking and testing for presence of the species using both sound-wave equipment and environmental DNA (eDNA) collection. 

This machine uses sound waves to detect irregular objects (e.g. a large turtle) under the surface. Photo credit: Jack Carney (ATP/IMC)

In the second part of the visit, the students moved to Cuc Phuong National Park’s Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), a rescue and conservation facility designed for saving Vietnam’s native turtles from the illegal trade which is supported and co-managed by the ATP/IMC along with the national park. The students learnt about how the TCC rescues and breeds many endangered species and worked with staff during the daily husbandry routines. 


We are very thankful for the three students, Coco, Anson and Yanny, for travelling to Vietnam and working on our projects. We also give thanks to OPCFHK for supporting our work, particularly the Rafetus project. 

Thank you to the donors, partners and supporters of our Rafetus project: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation – Hong Kong (OPCFHK).  

An Alliance for Rafetus Conservation has now been formed with the ATP/IMC, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC) and Centre Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES). Together we believe the species can be saved. 


Press release: 27th June 2019

Press release by: Jack Carney & Nguyen Tai Thang (ATP/IMC)

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