Mission, vision and history


To conserve Asia’s tortoises and freshwater turtles by conducting research, protecting habitats, raising awareness and building expertise.


To establish a safe and sustainable future for Asian tortoises and freshwater turtles and ensure that no further turtle species become extinct in the region.



The Asian Turtle Program was established during the development of the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh province, Vietnam.


ATP was incorporated into the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo/Cleveland Zoological Society’s Asia regional program.


The first annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course was held by ATP at the TCC for university students and rangers from Vietnam. This course has been subsequently held every year since and has travelled to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.


During surveys by ATP in central Vietnam, the first wild Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) in nearly 70 years was captured in Quang Nam province.


ATP staff discovered the only known wild individual of Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), a critically endangered turtle from Vietnam and China, boosting efforts to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.


ATP merged with Indo Myanmar Conservation, a UK- and Vietnam-registered NGO, which strengthened our capacity to deliver conservation activities within Vietnam and the wider Indo-Myanmar Hotspot, which encompasses Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.


ATP/IMC identified a second wild individual of Swinhoe’s Softshell Turtle, bringing the number of known individuals in the wild and in captivity to four (at that time).