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No. 113, 3rd January 2014

1. South Carolina, USA: Turtle Survival Centre Snapshot - The Collection

DATE: 27th December, 2013

Over the past year more than 330 animals, representing 27 species have moved to a new building at the Turtle Survival Centre (TSC). The TSA had a large collection that was being managed at the Savannah River Ecology Lab and those turtles have all been relocated to the new captive management Centre. Additionally, many other animals that were being held by zoos, private individuals and other partners are now calling South Carolina home and the collection is growing rapidly. The staff has also grown in number, currently having four full-time employees handling a very ambitious work load. By bringing all of these animals together on site, TSA will be able to efficiently manage assurance colonies for these species that were selected based on their conservation need and manageability in captivity. As a testament to the fact that the new turtles are settling in nicely, TSA has already welcomed two hatchlings to the collection, firstly, a Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis), arrived in September, followed shortly thereafter by a Red-necked Pond Turtle (Mauremys nigricans).

Link to this web article online (English)

© Turtle Survival Alliance

2. Kozhikode City, India: Kolavi remains safe haven for Olive Ridley turtles

DATE: 2nd January, 2013

On the 1st of January, 2013, 66 Olive Ridley turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) were released into the sea from the hatchery prepared for them by turtle-lovers at Kolavi beach, India. Volunteers of the Theeram nature-lovers group have been engaged in turtle conservation activities for years. Olive Ridley turtles had been visiting Kolavi the beach for many years to lay eggs. However, nature-lovers found to their dismay that many eggs ended up on menu of people in the neighbourhood. Human interference also had led to destruction of the beach in a big way. The result was a disturbing decline in number of turtles reaching the Kolavi beach to lay eggs. Theeram volunteers had prepared an artificial hatchery and, with support of the Forest Department, undertook nature conservation programme since the Kolavi beach was one of the few places where Olive Ridleys chose to lay eggs. Theeram volunteers said this season six Olive Ridley turtles had reached the Kolavi beach and laid eggs so far.

Link to this web article online (English)

© The Hindu

3. Vinh Phuc province, Vietnam: Biodiversity station in Me Linh district

DATE: 31st December, 2013

The Me Linh Biodiversity Station under the Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR) was established in 1999 to preserve local genetic resources. The total area reaches 170.3ha including 69ha of secondary forest, 30ha plantation forest, 68.3ha bush and streams, and 3ha administrative area. The Station is supposed to protect the upstream forest, recover parts of the forest, breed and rescue wildlife, as well as carrying out programs for conserving local species through research on Vietnamese flora and fauna. So far, although a number of research projects have been carried out, they fail to prove their effectiveness due to lacking long-term investment. Notably, the station possesses a turtle collection with 86 individuals including rare species such as the Vietnamese pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis), Orange-headed temple turtle (Heosemys grandis), Four-eyed turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata), Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), etc. These animals are all kept in wild and semi-wild enclosures in order to compare husbandry requirements for the species to successfully breed which is essential for turtle conservation. Most of the turtles at the Biodiversity Station were confiscated from the illegal trade and transferred from the Soc Son wildlife rescue centre or the forest protection department.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


4. Story: Blood in the Sand: Killing a Turtle Advocate

DATE: 2nd January, 2014

Follow-up Bulletin No.83 and No.84

Jairo Mora Sandoval, a 26-year-old Costa Rican conservationist, was born in Gandoca, a tiny Caribbean town near the Panama border. Since 2010, Mora had been living at the sanctuary and patrolling the beach for a nonprofit organization called the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network, or Widecast . His strategy was to beat the hueveros to the punch by gathering eggs from freshly laid nests and spiriting them to a hatchery on the sanctuary grounds. This was dangerous work. Every poacher on Moín knew Mora, and confrontations were frequent—he once jumped out of a moving truck to tackle a huevero. But on the 31 st of May, 2013, Mora was found naked and face down on the beach, his hands bound behind him and a large gash on the back of his head. The official cause of death was asphyxiation—he'd aspirated sand deep into his lungs. The news spread quickly. The BBC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post picked up the story. Paul Watson, the founder of the Sea Shepherd Society and the star of Whale Wars, offered $30,000 (632,550,000 VND) to anyone who could identify the killers. "Jairo is no longer simply a murder statistic," Watson wrote. "He is now an icon."

Link to the full story


© Jason Bradley

5. Binh Dinh province, Vietnam: 63.3kg wildlife seized

SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd January, 2013

In the afternoon of the 2nd of January, 2014, the Binh Dinh environmental crime prevention police agency, along with the Forest Protection Unit and Police of Hoai Nhon district examined and seized 63.3kg of wildlife which was kept in a resident's house of De Duc hamlet, Hoai Tan commune, Hoai Nhon district. Seized animals included snakes, softshell turtles, turtles, civets, weasels, etc. (unknown species) with all of the species being listed in category IB and IIB of Vietnam's principal wildlife protection law Decree 32. Hoai Nhon FPU is now in charge of taking care of the animals before releasing them back to the wild. The resident, Mrs Nguyen Thi Ngoc Loan was previously convicted 2 years in prison for violating the wildlife protection regulations but was put on probation.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

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