June 26 , 2006
Da Nang Trade Seizure Nets Turtles and other Wildlife
Police in Da Nang city seized a shipment of wildlife heading north on a bus on Highway 1A. The shipment was comprised of turtles, monitor lizards, snakes, and ducks, and reportedly originated in the south. The owner of the shipment, who was apprehended along with the driver of the bus, was from Hai Dong province just east of Hanoi leading wildlife protection officers to believe that the destination was Hanoi or possibly the border with China.
The specific species composition included 179 turtles representing six species; 150 Indotestudo elongata, 4 Hieremys annandalii, 19 Heosemys grandis, 2 Cuora amboinensis, 4 Cyclemys sp. The shipment included 109 kg of clouded monitor lizards, Varanus bengalensis, 60 spot-billed ducks, Anas poecilorhyncha, and 121 kg of common rat snakes, Ptyas mucosus.
The ducks, snakes, and monitor lizards were released locally in the Ba Na ? Nui Chua Nature Reserve and area lakes. The turtles were transferred to the Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) at Cuc Phuong National Park where they were placed in quarantine. According to TCC manager Bui Dang Phong, the turtles are in fairly poor shape as a result of their ordeal in the trade. The species composition and supposed place of origin suggests that the turtles may have originated in Cambodia.
At the time of this report, the bus driver and owner of the shipment were currently awaiting determination of punishment for violation of wildlife protection laws. Three of the turtle species, the clouded monitors, and common rat snakes are specifically protected under Decree 32 group IIB.
The information contained within this report was provided by the Wildlife Crimes Unit of Education for Nature ? Vietnam (ENV). ENV is working with wildlife protection authorities throughout Vietnam to stop the wildlife trade through increased public participation and reporting of crimes, provision of expertise to frontline wildlife protection units, and documenting and tracking wildlife crimes and enforcement actions. More than 260 cases have been logged and investigated since January 2005.
For more information contact:
Ms. Le Thanh Thuy