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No.3, 30th October 2011


1. Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA). Rafetus Breeding Attempt 2011

SOURCE: – DATE: October 17, 2011

The female Rafetus swinhoei at the Suzhou Zoo in China built three nests this year with a total of 188 eggs laid. Some eggs were artificially incubated while others were left in the enclosure; however, all eggs turned out to be infertile. A consideration now is that the male did not inseminate the female, or, alternatively, that he does not produce viable sperm. The plan for further attempts to breed the giant softshell turtle and indeed the future of the species now has a number of possibilities. The first approach would be to collect semen from the Suzhou male in order to research his sperm and use it to artificially inseminate the female. The second possibility would be to breed the Chinese female with the male Rafetus that lives in the Dong Mo Lake in Vietnam. The last possibility and best outlook would be to find more Rafetus individuals in China. A survey in Yunnan and Yangtze are planned for May 2012.

Link to this web article online


2. Health news. Turtle & herbs cooked in porridge can increase men's virility

SOURCE: – DATE: October 22, 2011

Wildlife products continue to be promoted in much of Asia as miracle cures or in this case source of improved male virility. The article claims that eating a herb and turtle stew daily for a week will accelerate a man's power when making love. Unfortunately such traditional beliefs remain strong in Vietnam.

Link to this web article online


3. Quang Tri & Gia Lai provinces, Vietnam. Confiscate and release many wildlife animals back to nature

SOURCE: – DATE: October 27, 2011

According to Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV), Huong Hoa rangers have recently released about 20.5 kg of wild animals back to the wild, including 15 turtles (Cyclemys oldhamii) and 3 Chinese softshell turtles (Pelodiscus sinensis) . All animals were confiscated when being transported. The truck driver was fined VND 6.5 million ($310).

According to ENV a trader was also arrested by Gia Lai authorities illegally transporting wild animals, including one Giant Asian pond turtle (Heosemys grandis) and 2 Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata).

Link to this web article online



4. Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. The illegal transport of wild animals seems to increase

SOURCE: – DATE: October 26, 2011

In order to supply turtles, snakes, and other wild animals to restaurants in the Northern cities, increasingly more traders have been collecting wildlife from the Vietnam-Laos border. On the 26th of October 2011, officials of the forest department together with border officials seized several shipments of illegal wildlife. "The seizures of wildlife transports has increased in a short period of time" according too Le Van Thanh, head of Huong Hoa forest department.

Link to this web article


5. Wildlife news. 10 species that might become extinct in Vietnam in the near future, like the Javan rhinoceros

SOURCE: – DATE: October 28, 2011

This article highlights 10 species of wildlife in Vietnam that will become extinct in the near future if current hunting and trade pressures remain. It should be noted that WWF already declared the Javan rhino ( Rhinoceros sondaicus ) extinct in Vietnam in 2010. The Yangtze giant softshell (Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle) Rafetus swinhoei is also listed. Here is the top 10 list of species that are on the brink of extinction:

1. Gaur (Bos gaurus) [population in Lao Cai National Park]

2. Indochinese Tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti)

3. Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis)

4. Hog deer (Cervus porcinus)

5. Tonkin snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus) [Ha Giang province]

6. Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus)

7. White-shouldered Ibis (Pseudibis davisoni)

8. Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea)

9. Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) [one individuals in the Hoan Kiem Lake & one individual in the Dong Mo Lake]

10. White-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus)

Link to this web article


6. China. 51 illegally caught sea turtles rescued

SOURCE: – DATE: October 24, 2011

51 illegally caught sea turtles have been confiscated by Border Security officials on Monday in Zhoushan in East China's Zhejiang Province. The shipment consisted of mostly Green Turtles ( Chelonia mydas ) and at least one leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), many animals of 1.5 meter and weighting 100kg. Only seven of the animals were alive and were later released.

Link to this web article



7. Hai Phong Province, Vietnam. Endangered Giant Asiatic softshell turtle (Admyda cartilaginea) available for food at a provincial fair

SOURCE: – DATE: October 25, 2011

23-28 Oct 2011. During a special culture week in Hai Phong Province, Vietnam, many special activities are available to tourist. This Vietnam net article highlights the unfortunate and sad situation where an Asiatic softshell turtle (Amyda cartilaginea) was on display in the food area and they ask the question of what will happen to these softshell turtles and whether Amyda cartilaginea is served as a dish for tourists or not?

Link to this web article


8. Hanoi. Still waiting on how to handle the sale of the Asiatic softshell turtle (Amyda cartilaginea)

SOURCE: – DATE: October 25, 2011

The Asiatic softshell turtle recently caught in Hanoi is on the Red List of Endangered Species and protected from International Trade under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Mr. Toan, who sold the Asiatic softshell turtle has committed an offense for which the fine could be VND 400-500 million ($19,000 – 24,000). However the authorities have taken no action or responsibility in this case.

Link to this web article online: link 1

Link to this web article online: link 2


9. Ho Chi Minh: Asiatic soft shell turtle (Amyda cartilaginea) farming


This article claims a turtle farmer in he southwest of Vietnam is successfully breeding the endangered Asiatic softshell turtle (Amyda cartilaginea) for commercial purposes. The business is registered with the Forest Protection Department and claims to be incubating eggs successfully, although photos in the article do not show evidence of this. The farming business is apparently registered with he Forest Department but unfortunately monitoring and regulations of such farms in Vietnam remains weak.

Link to this web article online


10. Bangladesh. 100,000 turtles sacrificed in ritual slaughter to celebrate Hindu festival

SOURCE: – DATE: October 27, 2011

A Hindu festival that celebrates light has been shrouded in darkness following the sacrificial slaughter of up to 100,000 turtles. Shown in horrifying images, critically endangered species including the northern river terrapin (Batagur baska) and the black soft-shell turtle (Nilssonia nigricansare) sacrificed in the name of religion. The ancient ritual takes place during the celebration of Kali Puja, which started in Bengal yesterday.

Link to this web article online



11. Da Nang. Hot news: An illegal turtle trade was confiscated

SOURCE: – DATE: October 29, 2011

In the afternoon of Friday the 28 th of October 2011, Da Nang Environmental Police cooperated with Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) to follow up on an illegal trade case where a turtle was advertised on the internet for sale. The Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti) was advertised as rua vang, the local name for Cuora trifasciata, by Tran Quoc Tuan who intended to sell it for a price of 10 million VND. Tran Quoc Tuan was arrested and the advertisement removed.

Link to this web article online


Above: Picture of Cuora trifasciata as it was advertised on the internet

Below: When police followed up on the lead from ENV they found a Cuora bourreti


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