December 8, 2005
Tam Dao Rangers Lean About Turtles and Trade
On December 7, the Asian Turtle Program and Cuc Phuong National Park?s Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) carried out a Turtle Ecology, Identification, and Trade workshop for 20 wildlife protection officers from Tam Dao National Park. Held at Cuc Phuong National Park, the workshop focused on providing Tam Dao rangers with knowledge about turtles, the threats that Vietnam?s turtles currently face, and improving the rangers ability to identify turtles that they observe in the market or trade.
Tam Dao National Park, located just northwest of Hanoi, encompasses a former French colonial hill-town, and is a popular weekend destination for Hanoi residents looking to relax. A few turtles are always offered for sale in the morning market in Tam Dao town, including species that are not native to the park, and wildlife is commonly observed on the menu of most restaurants. Both Geoemyda spengleri and Pyxidea mouhotii are still reportedly commonly collected at the park.
As in other training programs for enforcement officers, the main focus of the training was to encourage frontline wildlife protection officers to take a more active role in helping protect turtles at the park. The workshop was the 15th enforcement training workshop carried out by the Asian Turtle Program. Since 2000, training has been carried out for wildlife protection officers from 27 provinces and seven National Parks and Protected Areas. Next month, the Asian Turtle Program plans to carry out training for Vietnamese Customs officers, Police, and wildlife protection authorities in the border province of Lao Cai, where much of the cross-border wildlife trade is reported to cross through into China.
Ms. Tran Thu Hang