Asian Turtle Program
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No. 194, 7th August 2015

1. Vietnam: Trading rare turtles online.
SOURCE: – DATE: 6th August 2015

On the 6th of August 2015, Investigation Police Agency of Ha Dong Police (Hanoi, Vietnam) said that they had prosecuted and arrested Dinh Cong Thanh (born in 1987 in Thai Nguyen province, Vietnam) for violating the provisions stipulated in Article 190 - the Criminal Code on “rare and endangered wildlife protection".

Earlier, in the evening of the 24th of July 2015, Ha Dong Police raided Dinh Cong Thanh’s dorm room in Ha Dong district (Hanoi, Vietnam) and found 44 turtles of unknown origin. Of 44 turtles seized, 8 turtles were identified as Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora galbinifrons). Thanh confessed that he had been trading turtles online for several months. ATP NOTE: Cuora galbinifrons is protected under national law Decree 160/2013/ND-CP.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

turtle online trader
© An ninh Thu do

Eastern Box Turtle© A. Janda

2. The USA: How Citizen Scientists are Creating an Atlas of Turtles in Connecticut
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th August 2015

Citizen scientists in Connecticut are creating an atlas of the many species of turtles and helping researchers understand the role of turtles in the ecosystem. Find more information about participating in Connecticut Turtle Atlas, the citizen science project on SciStarter and watch out for our newsletter featuring projects you can do outdoors!

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

3. Cambodia’s Royal Turtle Back From the Brink of Extinction
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th August 2015

The Southern River Terrapin (Batagur affinis) is among the lesser-known of Cambodia’s many globally endangered species. The reptile, known locally as the royal turtle, was believed to be extinct in Cambodia until 2000, when a group of experts from the United States-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Cambodian Fisheries Administration rediscovered them in the Sre Ambel River, in the western province of Koh Kong, Cambodia.

In the same year, WCS initiated a project to protect this endangered species, which has seen startling success, restoring a population that it is believed had shrunk to a perilous 33 in Cambodia. Since 2000, the WCS-run breeding program has successfully reared in captivity and released 146 of the rare creatures. That includes 24 that were released just last month.

Link to this web article online (English)

Cantor's giant softshell turtles

© K. Harrison & J. Ginsberg

Cantor's giant softshell turtle

© K. Harrison & J. Ginsberg

4. Hatch and release: Can turtle tourism save a species in Cambodia?
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th August 2015

Few things are more wondrous for nature travellers than to witness newly hatched sea turtles scramble to the sea.

For hard-core turtle tourists, though, there’s a new experience that is just as exhilarating - and just a bit farther from the beaten path: releasing an endangered freshwater turtle into one of Southeast Asia’s most important rivers.

In June, about 150 people gathered on the banks of the Mekong River near Kratie, Cambodia, to release 200 4-month-old Cantor’s giant softshell turtles (Pelochelys cantorii). The crowd included students, teachers, international tourists, staff from the Fisheries Administration, Buddhist monks, local village chiefs and community members - including those who serve as “nest guards”.

Link to this web article online (English)

5. Vietnam: Bear arms and turtles found in bus trunk in Nghe An province
SOURCE: – DATE: 5th August 2015

On the 4th of August, Dien Chau and Nghi Loc Traffic Police of Nghe An province, Vietnam stopped the bus with Laos' registration number UN - 6968, running on 1A High way. Upon investigation, the police seized 4 bear arms weighing 12.4kg and 16 turtles weighing 32.4 kg. The car was driven by Phan Anh Hieu (living in Dien Chau District, Nghe An province, Vietnam). ATP NOTE: No information on turtle species has been provided.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

© Cong an thanh pho Ho Chi Minh

6. The USA: Department of Environmental Protection faces future legal battle over seawalls that interfere with turtle nesting
SOURCE: – DATE: 6th August 2015

Four conservation groups notified the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Thursday that they intend to sue over its permitting of seawalls that block sea turtles from nesting on Florida beaches. The notice, filed by the Centre for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, the Florida Wildlife Foundation and the Surfrider Foundation, contends the DEP is violating federal law by handing out seawall permits in nesting territory with no regard for the turtles. Earthjustice is representing the groups.

DEP has already been under fire from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its permitting because all sea turtles are legally protected species.

Link to this web article online (English)

sea wall in Florida

© Palm Beach County

turtle seized in India

7. India: Threatened tortoises & turtles rescued from Kolkata, two held
SOURCE: – DATE: 7th August 2015

The officers of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) in a joint effort with the crime control unit of the state forest department seized 76 turtles and tortoises from two traders in Sodepur on Thursday morning (the 6th of August 2015). According a forest department official, the animals included 44 Indian Tent Turtles (Pangshura tentoria), 27 Star Tortoises (Geochelone elegans), one Crowned River Turtle (Hardella thurjii) and four Spotted Pond Turtles (Geoclemys hamiltonii) have been seized. He did emphasize that Indian Tent Turtle and Spotted Pond Turtle are protected under the Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act under Indian law.

Link to this web article online (English)

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