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No. 8, 2nd December 2011


1. Hanoi city, Vietnam. Did the Hoan Kiem turtle emerge to the surface of Hoan Kiem Lake due to water pollution?

SOURCE: Vietnamnet – DATE: 27th November 2011

In the morning of November 27 th , 2011, the Hoan Kiem turtle was seen surfacing in Hoan Kiem Lake near the Thuy Ta restaurant. It is the second time that the turtle emerged in the last four days. Some people believe that the lake water is too polluted for the turtle to live in even though it was cleaned two months ago. This article assumes this to be a reasonable claim as some people claim the animal has injuries on the shell again although these can not be seen in the photos. It is also important to remember that surfacing within the turtle does normally occur. Water quality is apparently being monitored although test results are not provided publically but would be an important indicator to possible concerns regarding pollution.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


2. Europe. Turtle Survivals Alliance (TSA) Europe places rescued turtles

SOURCE: Turtle survival Alliance - DATE: 29th November 2011

89 turtles of 8 species arrived at Amsterdam airport on the 16 th of September 2011, after having been confiscation from an illegal shipment in Hong Kong. TSA Europe has spearheaded efforts to place the turtles within their conservation network that includes European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) Zoos and European Studbook Foundation (ESF) and private collections throughout Europe. The shipment included 73 radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) , two spider tortoises (Pyxis arachnoides) , five Burmese star tortoises (Geochelone platynota) , one Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) , five yellow-margined box turtles (Cuora flavomarginata), one Japanese pond turtle (Mauremys japonica), one Pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) and one yellow pond turtle (Mauremys mutica). All of the animals arrived in good health and some were transferred immediately to their final destinations at various locations within the ESF accompanied by a loan contract. The radiated tortoises were temporarily homed at the Rotterdam Zoo for quarantine, as CITES documents had to be issued before they could be moved to other facilities. Eventually, they were sent to following European zoos: the Plock, Wroclaw and Opole Zoos (Poland), Santa Inacio (Portugal), A Cupulatta (France), Antwerp Zoo (Belgium), Paignton Zoo (England) and Copenhagen Zoo and Terrariet Vissenbjerg (Denmark).

Link to this web article online (English)


3. Science news. Why do turtle eggs hatch together?

SOURCE: DATE: 1st December 2011

A scientist of the University of Western Sydney, Australia believes that baby turtles communicate with each other before hatching to coordinate their arrival into the world. Australian river turtles (Emydura macquarii) lay eggs in a hole in a sandy riverbank. Eggs at the cooler base of the nest develop more slowly and should hatch later than their warmer brethren at the top, says Ricky-John Spencer – but all eggs apparently hatch together. The eggs might communicate using chemical cues, says Spencer. "An egg is actually breathing. It's sucking in oxygen and expiring carbon dioxide," he says. "If you've got a lot of well developed eggs in the nest, there would be more CO 2 ." This build up of CO 2 in the nest could trigger under-developed embryonic turtles to increase their metabolic rate.

Doing so makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, adds Spencer. Coordinating hatching times lets the vulnerable young turtles leave the nest in a group, making them less of a target for predators.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link to this web article online (English)

Download PDF of research article here


4. Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. Seizure of 60kg of wildlife animals

SOURCE: DATE: 2nd December 2011

After a public tip-off on the 30 th of November 2011, the Economic Police of Tam Ky city, Quang Nam Province, central Vietnam, tracked a trader who was illegally carrying wildlife on Nguyen Hoang Street, An Son district. The trader was able to escaped and left a large amount of live animals including 10 bags containing snakes, turtles, ferrets as well as his motorbike behind. In the morning of the 1 st December, 2011, the seized animals were released back into the wild said Mr. Pham Thanh Lam, the head of the Quang Nam Forest Protection Department. The police are still trying to find the owner of the motorbike.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)


5. Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Developing the wildlife farm

SOURCE: – DATE: 2nd December 2011

Nowadays wild animal farming is very popular in Lao Cai province, northern Vietnam, and local residents are encouraged to raise wildlife legally. Many residents have been farming wildlife animals on a large scale concentrating on particular species such as porcupines, soft shell turtles and monitor lizards which some people believe can provide a stable income. For instance, Mr. Duoc, who owns the biggest farm in Lao Cai said he had many challenges and losses when he first started raising wildlife.

But in the time he claims to have improved and at present his family has over 500 cobras, 100 turtles, 20 pairs of monitors and 5 pairs of porcupines with which he earns over 150 million VND each year (approx. $10.000 ). If these animals breed, the profit will double in the future . According the Lao Cai Fprest Protection Department (FPD) there are currently 213 families in the province keeping over 3,000 wild animals and 18 farms that have obtained a wildlife breeder's license.

The FPD has even suggested to the local People's Committee that support should be provided to farmers in building facilities for raising wildlife, with a ‘Wildlife Farming' - project with funding from the Agricultural and Rural Development Program now running from 2007 – 2012. Unfortunately poor monitoring and regulations in many wildlife farms means they are often utilized to launder wild caught animals, an issue that needs urgently addressing if wildlife farms are being seriously considered on a large scale as is been seen in Vietnam.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)



6. Manila, Philippine . 6 Chinese charged for catching turtles in the Philippines

SOURCE: –DATE: 4th December 2011

Last Sunday, the 4 th of December 2011, nine dead Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia mydas) were seized from six Chinese fishermen at Puerto Princesa city port, Palawan province, southwestern Philippines. Maj. Niel Estrella, a Philippine military spokesman, said six fishermen, allegedly from China's southern island province of Hainan, were arrested on Friday in waters off western Palawan province's Balabac Township, with the turtles on their speedboat. They are expected to be charged in court on Monday the 5 th of December 2011. Three more sea turtles of this catch were still alive and tagged before being released back into the sea.

Link to this web article online (English)

Link 1 to this web article online (Vietnamese)

Link 2 to this web article online (Vietnamese)


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