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No. 34, 24th June 2012

1. Germany: Scientists uncover turtles that died while having sex 50million years ago

SOURCE: - DATE: 19th June 2012

It is the first time fossils of vertebrates have been caught in the act. Nine pairs of frisky fossils - the females identified by their shorter tails - were found in the Messel Pit, near Darmstadt in Germany. It is believed the copulating couples were overcome by poisonous gas at the bottom of a volcanic crater. Dr Walter Joyce, of the University of Tuebingen, Germany, said the turtles belonged to an extinct species known as Allaeochelys crassesculpta most closely related to the existing Pig nose turtle (Carettochelys insculpta).

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 3 to this web article online (English)


2. Vietnam: The rescue and release of more than 200 wild animals back to nature

SOURCE: - DATE: 20th June 2012

In the first 6 months of 2012 Wildlife At Risk (WAR) in collaboration with the Forest Protection Department of Ho Chi Minh city, Kien Giang Province and the National Parks Lo Go Xa Mat and Cat Tien have rescued more than 210 animals belonging to 26 species of rare wildlife. The species rescued include crocodiles, bears, loris,, otters, wild cats, cobra, turtles and tortoises of many kinds. Most of these individuals were evidence confiscated from illegal wildlife trafficking. Turtles released included Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata), Giant Asian pond turtles (Heosemys grandis), Yellow Headed Temple turtles (Heosemys annadalii), South Asian box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) and Black Marsh turtles (Siebenrockiella crassicollis), animals that were transferred from the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park in February 2012.

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


3. The Philippines: Sea turtles rescued in southern Palawan

SOURCE: - DATE: 21th June 2012

The Philippine National Police -Maritime Special Boat Unit recently rescued 17 sea turtles in a hidden swamp on Ameril Island, Barangay Rio Tuba in Bataraza, Palawan. There were 13 hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) and four green turtles (Chelonia mydas) recorded with the biggest measuring 59 cm and 46 cm width carapace. All are classified as critically endangered species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list. Although it is not clear who was responsible for catching the turtles Chinese nationals have been reported in the islands enticing local residents to hunt the turtles. All 17 turtles were released back to the open seas by representatives of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) and DENR after being measured, weighed, and tagged.

Link to this web article online (English)



4. India: One of the World's Rarest Turtles Gets Second Chance for Survival

SOURCE: - DATE: 20th June 2012

The Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska), widely considered one of the most critically endangered of the large river terrapins, is getting a new lease on life due to some remarkable breeding successes recently. From late March through early April, all five females nested within a 24 day period, using the improved sand bank that was provided, laying a total of 92 eggs. The Bangladesh team led by SMA Rashid and AJG Morshed did a great job of monitoring the clutches through incubation, and communicated with the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) daily on findings. All this care and attention to detail paid off when the eggs began to hatch on June 7, after 64 days of incubation. All total, 27 hatchlings emerged from the five nests, not bad given the compromised nutritional condition of two of the recently acquired females. Twenty-five survived and are growing rapidly in the newly renovated hatchling facility.

Link to this web article online (English)


5. Quang Binh province, Vietnam: Releasing an old turtle accidently caught in central Vietnam

SOURCE: - DATE: 23rd June 2012

When Mr. Nguyen Duc Thuy, a fisherman from Quang Binh province, central Vietnam, checked his net at dawn on the 22 nd of June he found a large turtle trapped in his net. Th dark brown sea turtle weighed about 55-60kg had a colourful pattern on its back. Despite some people claiming a rare animal such as this was worth up to 30 million VND (1438$) Mr. Thuy did not want to sell it. Instead in the afternoon of the same day the kind hearted fisherman and his family decided to release the animal back to the sea. Although the species was not clear the article highlights the growing understanding amongst the Vietnamese public to the need for conservation of wildlife, even when significant financial incentives to hunt are often present.

Link to this web article (Vietnamese)




6. Ecuador: Last Pinta giant tortoise Lonesome George dies

SOURCE: - DATE: 24th June 2012

Lonesome George (Chelonoidis nigra abingdoni), a giant tortoise which became an icon for conservationism on the Galapagos islands, has died, making its subspecies extinct. A iconic animal highlighting the plight of many endangered animals attempts have been made to breed Lonesome George with other closely related subspecies but have been unsuccessful. His loss, and the sub-species extinction is a wake up call and a reminder to the ongoing extinction crisis we are now seeing globally.

Link to this web article online (English)



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