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No. 175, 27th March 2015

1. The USA: Health Care for Sea Turtles Just Got a Shot in the Flipper
SOURCE: – DATE: 19th March 2015

Nearly all species of sea turtles are globally endangered, plagued by habitat loss, hunting and illegal trade. About 230 rescue centers around the world do their best to treat sick turtles and return them to the wild. But their success rates are distressingly low, because sea turtles are especially difficult patients.
However, one rescue center has come up with a simple solution that could save many sea turtles’ lives: a special turtle IV system. The veterinary staff at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) in south Florida last year decided to try an untested new approach: a superfast session of IV nutrient feeding. Developed by Charles Manire, director of research and rehabilitation at the LMC, the procedure minimizes the amount of time turtles must stay out of water and gives them complete nutrition in fluid form. Tests so far show that the approach drastically cuts turtle deaths, ultimately allowing more of the animals to be returned healthy to the wild.

Link to the web article online (English)

turtle treatment at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

© The Loggerhead Marinelife Center

roads devastate wildlife
Clement et al.

death civet

© WY Lam

2. Study finds roads in Southeast Asia may be devastating forests, wildlife
SOURCE: – DATE: 20th March 2015

Habitat loss and illegal hunting are leading drivers behind mammal population decline and extinction in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. But what's driving these drivers? Road infrastructure, according to research. Dr. Reuben Clements from James Cook University, along with his colleagues, conducted the first-ever comprehensive study examining the impacts of road infrastructure on mammal populations in Southeast Asia. Their findings were recently published in PLOS One. The study results show that roads are key drivers behind habitat loss and illegal hunting, which deeply threaten mammal populations in Southeast Asia. 

ATP NOTE: Fragmentation by roads is a major problem for slow moving turtles as is seen with road kill in the USA and elsewhere

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

3. Laos resort 'a lawless playground' for illegal wildlife trade
SOURCE: - DATE: 21st March 2015

A Chinese-run resort complex in north-west Laos whose activities include offering parts of endangered species for eating - such as bear's paws and tiger meat - was slammed yesterday by an activist organisation which called on the country to crack down on the illegal market.
The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), in its report released yesterday, also called on the parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to impose trade suspensions on Laos, which theoretically had the power to crack down on the illegal trade in the complex but had done nothing.
The 24-page EIA report - the result of an investigation conducted jointly with Vietnam-based Education for Nature Vietnam - said the Golden Triangle special economic zone (SEZ) in Bokeo province (Laos), on the Mekong river bordering Thailand and Myanmar, has "effectively become a lawless playground".

Link to this web article online (English)

illegally traded wildlife in Laos

4. Pakistan: Experts warn that the use of illegal fishing nets is depleting a marine turtle population
SOURCE: – DATE: 25th March 2015

The use of illegal fishing nets by Pakistani fishermen is one of the leading causes of depletion of the population of marine turtles. The country’s continental shelf was home to four of the total seven reported species of marine turtles. This was expressed by experts speaking at a two-day regional symposium on the subject organised by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) under its Saving the Endangered Sea Turtles project.

Link to this web article online (English)


turtle crossed road©

5. Canada: ‘If you build it they will come’ fails for turtle crossings
SOURCE: – DATE: 25th March 2015

The reliance on fences to keep the turtles and snakes off roads may be a problem, a new study shows. When there aren’t effective fences to keep the reptiles out, they don’t use the eco-passages, James Baxter-Gilbert of Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada and colleagues report March 25 in PLOS ONE.
The study looked at the effectiveness of a series of eco-passages built along a 13-kilometer stretch of Highway 69/40 near Burwash, Ontario, near Lake Huron, a region with high reptile biodiversity. The study revealed that animals used the eco-passages, but the most common patrons of the underground passageways were ducks and geese. Few reptiles travelled through them. And, worse, turtles and snakes didn’t stay off the roads. The number of reptiles on the roadway near the eco-passages actually increased after they were put in place, resulting in lots of dead snakes and turtles.
The failure was in the fencing. Along three kilometres of road, rips, holes and washouts had caused 115 gaps. During the spring melt, up to 30 per cent of the fence was submerged. And other areas had been left completely unfenced. In total, the researchers calculate, about two-thirds of the road was lined with permeable fence.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

6. The USA: Rescued tortoise to get prosthetic shell
SOURCE: – DATE: 25th March 2015

When Cleopatra, the Leopard Tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) was sent to Canyon Critter Reptile Rescue in Golden (Colorado, the USA), she was in pretty rough shape. Poor nutrition can lead to "pyramiding" shells. Instead of a smooth rounded shell, Cleopatra has a rigid, bumpy back.
The herbivore is now on a healthy diet that includes dandelions and cactus. However, the tortoise roughhousing has done more damage. Cleopatra's shell is exposed leaving her susceptible to bacteria and infection. Also is she gets turned on her back, the shell's shape will prevent her from getting back on her belly.
Henry spent hundreds of hours learning software to develop a 3D prosthetic that fits perfectly over Cleopatra's existing shell. The result is a perfect 3D image of Cleopatra's shell. It fits perfectly over the tortoise and will be secured with Velcro. It's lightweight so Cleopatra doesn't even know it's there.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

turtle with 3D shell

© R. Haarer
turtle shell

© R. Haarer

GBP 300 turlte was stolen

7. The UK: Drug addict stole £300 tortoise to fund his habit
SOURCE: – DATE: 26th March 2015

Drug addict Lee Pemberton stole a £300 ($446) tortoise from a vivarium at Glovers Fish and Water Garden Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, west Midlands, the UK last November. He also admitted possession of heroin; two offences of possessing class B drugs; failing to attend an assessment after a drug test; and failing to answer bail. Magistrates jailed Pemberton for 18 weeks but suspended the sentence for 12 months because drug treatment had started. He was also ordered to pay £300 compensation, £85 ($126) costs and an £80 ($119) victim surcharge. The tortoise has not been recovered since the theft.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)


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