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No. 68, 25th February 2013

Geneva, Switzerland: CITES CoP16 - Record Number of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles on the Agenda

SOURCE: Annamiticus;
DATE: 21st February 2013

A record number of proposals for tortoises and freshwater turtles are on the agenda at the 16th CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Conference of Parties (CoP16). The United States, China, Vietnam, and Japan have submitted a total of 11 proposals to adjust the CITES Appendices (rules for governing international trade in wildlife species) for nearly 50 tortoise and freshwater turtle species adversely affected by trade. Dr. Teresa Telecky, Director of Wildlife for Humane Society International and CITES expert, explained that the tortoise and freshwater turtle proposals represent many years of international collaborative efforts on behalf these species. She said that “this record number of proposals really reflects the work that has been happening within CITES over the last eight or so years to focus on trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises.”
Vietnam submitted proposals for two turtle species, the Indochinese box turtle (Cuora galbinifrons ; Proposal 33) and the endemic Vietnamese pond turtle (Mauremys annamensis ; Proposal 35), to be transferred from Appendix II to Appendix I and thereby increasing its protection status under CITES. Currently, being listed in Appendix II, the international trade of both species may be authorized with an export-permit from CITES and national certificates. If the proposals are accepted and the species moved to Appendix I, the international trade in specimens of the proposed species would be prohibited except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research.

ATP Note: The Bourret's box turtle (Cuora bourreti) and the Lesser Indochinese box turtle (Cuora picturata) have been proposed to warrant as full species (Stuart & Parham, 2004) and this has been recognized by some. Proposal 33 for Cuora galbinifrons follows the Standard Reference for Turtles (Fritz & Havas, 2007) which recognizes C.bourreti and C.picturata as subspecies of Cuora galbinifrons .
If proposal 33 is accepted, both C.bourreti and C.picturata, will be added to Appendix I along with C.galbinifrons.

Link 1 to this web article online (English)

Link 2 to this web article online (English)

2. Bohol island, Philippines: A tasty seafood snack: Turtle cleverly tucks into poisonous 15-foot jellyfish without getting stung

SOURCE: Daily Mail Online; – DATE: 21st February 2013

A carnivorous three-foot-long Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) was spotted munching on a poisonous 15-foot-long jellyfish. Instead of sticking to its usual meal of algae and sea grass this juvenile green sea turtle - with guts of steel - decided to risk a sore stomach and devour a live crown jellyfish. The greedy young turtle looks to be enjoying his bizarre meal by eating from the head of the jellyfish - away from the poisonous tentacles. US photographer Jacob Maentz, 33, came across the rarely pictured sight when diving 30-feet underwater at the Balicasag Marine Sanctuary off the coast of the island of Bohol, Philippines. According to Jacob Maentz, a dult green sea turtles are known to be vegetarian but juvenile green sea turtles sometimes eat invertebrates like crabs, jellyfish, and sponges.

Link to this web article online (English)


3. Phuket, Thailand: Conservation profits from selling tickets to release turtles to the sea

SOURCE: The Phuket news; thephuketnews – DATE: 19th February 2013

More than 200,000 Thai Baht (approximately 6,700 USD) were raised at the Sunset Turtle Release Event held at the XANA Beach Club in Phuket on the 8th of February. The funds were donated to the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) and the Royal Thai Navy. Laguna Resorts and Hotels have been working with and supporting the PMBC for 19 years. The PMBC transferred 80 turtles to the hotels and resorts to be released this year and the majority of the money was raised by selling tickets for approximately 2,000 THB (~6.7 USD) each to release a turtle. Profits from the raffle and fairground games will support conservation activities for sea turtles of the PMBC, buying medicine and treating injured turtles that are transferred to the centre. Most turtles that are transferred to the PMBC take 6 to 12 months to be rehabilitated, but some have to stay there permanently due to their severe injuries. Releasing healthy animals and raising funds for the maintenance of turtles at the PMBC at the same time is therefore very significant. Currently the PMBC holds 60 turtles, 20 more animals than their actual holding capacity.

Link to this web article online (English)

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