Interview survey to identify local threats to the Big-headed Turtle

From 20th to 25th of June 2019, ATP/IMC travelled to the buffer zone of Pu Hu Nature Reserve Thanh Hoa Province, northern Vietnam to conduct a key informant interview survey and collect informatio non distribution, hunting and trade of endangered Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) in the Reserve.

The landscape of Suoi Ton village, Phu Son commune, Quan Hoa district, Thanh Hoa province, Vietnam. Photo by: Hoang Van Ha – ATP/IMC

During this intensive survey, 15 professional turtle hunters and traders were interviewed; information regarding local hunting methods, hunting seasons,animal trade volumes and local people’s awareness and attitude towards Big-headed Turtles was recorded.

The interviews led to the observation of 12 turtle specimens of two species, including nine live Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum). Of those animals, seven of them had been bought by one local who was attempting to raise them. This species is increasingly rare in Vietnam and protected under both two main wildlife protected laws, Decree 160/2013/ND-CP and Decree 06/2019/ND-CP.  

The nature reserve clearly still has populations of the evolutionary distinct and globally endangered Big-headed Turtle and future field surveys to confirm its existence here have been planned. 


We would like to thank Pu Hu Nature Reserve Management Board, Thanh Hoa Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for issuing this survey permit. We would also like to thank Fondation Segré Conservation Fund and the EDGE of Existence programme as well as our project partners, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), Paignton Zoo, Nordens Ark, and the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) for their support to this activity.  

16th September 2019  
Press release by: Hoang Van Ha ATP/IMC 

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