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No. 67, 17th February 2013

Ha Tinh province, Vietnam: Tagged olive ridley sea turtle found

SOURCE: Dân Trí; – DATE: 12th February 2013

On 11th February 2013, an 11kg Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) was caught on the Do Ho river of Loc Ha district by Mr. Nguyen Van Hong. Mr. Hong and his son were surprised to find a tag (most likely attached by a conservation organization) on its tail that monitors its movement. The turtle seemed to be in good health. In the evening it was released back to the sea near Thach Kim beach in Loc Ha district.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

2. Kobe city, Japan: Limbless turtle moving swimmingly after getting prosthetic flippers

SOURCE: – DATE: 12th February 2013

Yu, an approximately 25-year-old female loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), was test-driving her 27th pair of artificial front legs around her home aquarium near Kobe in western Japan, where she proves a draw for the crowds. The rubber limbs are attached to a vest slipped over her head, said the aquarium's curator, Naoki Kamezaki. The creature, which weighs 96 kg and has a shell 82 cm long, was pulled out of a fisherman's net and sent to the Suma Aqualife Park in mid-2008. One third of the right limb and half of the left limb were gone, in what Kamezaki believes must have been a shark attack.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


3. Australia: Well-travelled turtle out of her shell on where she calls nirvana

SOURCE: Courier Mail;
DATE: 9th February 2013

Since 1977 the Environment Department chief scientist (aquatic threatened species) Col Limpus has recorded the loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) called the Comeback Queen ( Bulletin No. 64 ) coming ashore 108 times at the Mon Repos rookery near Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia for nesting. He always had been intrigued about where her home grounds are - effectively where she spends most of her life. Because turtles will breed and lay only if they are in good condition, Dr Limpus believed she must have lived in some sort of turtle nirvana, most likely on the Great Barrier Reef, where she would be safe from prawn trawler nets and coastal pollution. It turned out she was right in his backyard the whole time - Brisbane's Moreton Bay, one of the state's busiest waterways and home to about 2 , 000 turtles. The devices that recorded her movement are attached on her carapace but in a way so they eventually fall off in order to not harm the animal. The fact she lived in the bay and laid over 13,000 eggs there showed that the waterway was in relatively good condition. Knowing where she lived would also add to knowledge of how floods affected turtles, Dr Limpus said.

Link to this web article online (English)


4.  World's reptiles at risk of extinction

DATE: 15th February 2013

Research led by the Zoological Society of London found that the future of 19% of the world's reptiles are threatened. Conservation experts also confirmed that 47% are vulnerable and highlighted the possible extinction of three species. The figures are based on a random sample of 1,500 of the world's reptile species. Dr Monika Bohm, lead author of the study published in the journal Biological Conservation, explained that: “ reptiles can really be important in natural food webs: they're really important as predators as well as prey . The risk is - if you lose a really important food source you can change food webs quite dramatically ”. The study highlighted that levels of threat to the diverse group of animals are particularly high in tropical regions due to pressures from agriculture and logging such as the jungle runner lizard Ameiva vittata (in Bolivia), six of the nine species of Anolis lizard s in Haiti. Freshwater turtles were also flagged as a considerable concern. The study estimated 50% were at risk of extinction, and 30% of freshwater reptiles are in danger of disappearing as a whole.

Link to this web article online (English)


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