Buletin: July 1, 2006

The Asian Turtle Conservation Network bulletin is produced regularly as part of efforts to enhance information sharing amongst people interested or working with Asian turtles.  The bulletin is distributed through the Asian Turtle Conservation Network.  To be added to the distribution list, please visit our website asianturtlenetwork.org and sign up to added to the list.

Reports from the front

Urgent effort underway to complete construction of Batagur facilities ? May 26, 2006 (Cambodia)
Efforts to establish captive holding facilities for head-starting offspring and long-term assurance population development received support from the European Zoo-led Shellshock Campaign.  The new holding facilities are urgently needed for this year?s hatchlings.

In Search of Platysternon megacephalum at Virachey National Park ? June 30, 2006  (Cambodia)
A brief summary report by David Emmett on the results of a June field survey at Virachey National Park in northeastern Cambodia. 

The Search for the Shanghai soft-shell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) in Vietnam ? June 2006
A month-long field survey carried out in March focused on a series of lakes in Yen Bai Province where local residents had reported large soft-shell turtle sightings in recent years.
https://asianturtlenetwork.org/library/ATCN_news/2006_articles/Rafetus_surveys_in_Yen_Bai_completed_ in_March_31_2006.html

Field report from the Cambodian Turtle Team on community training initiative ? May 12, 2006
The Cambodian Turtle Conservation Team carried out a training course for members of local communities living near the Veal Veng marsh (Pursat province) on turtles. 

Da Nang Police Seize Turtles ? June 26, 2006 (Vietnam)
Da Nang police confiscated 179 turtles representing six species from a bus heading up Highway 1.  The turtles were turned over to the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Center (TCC). 

Protected nests yield 88 hatchling Burmese roofed-terrapins ? June 2006 (Myanmar)
Win Ko Ko of the WCS Myanmar Program reports that 88 hatchling Burmese-roofed terrapins (Kachuga trivittata) have emerged from protected nests on the Chindwin River. https://asianturtlenetwork.org/library/ATCN_news/2006_articles/Chindwin_River_Update_%2088_offspring_reported.html

Field Notes

KUSTEM University Batagur Baska Project Update (Malaysia)
Professor E.H. Chan reports hatchling success for 33 Batagur baska nests deposited on two sandbanks of the Dungun River at 77%, with relocated nests averaging 71%.  The Terengganu turtles nested between January 28 and March 19, and incubation period ranged from 62-98 days according to Chan. 

One June 13, Chief Minister Dato Seri Idris Jusoh of Terengganu participated in the release of 107 hatchlings.  More than 250 hatchlings are currently being head-started at KUSTEM Universities Batagur baska conservation center.   Source:  E.H. Chan

More on the KUSTEM University effort to conserve Batagur baska in Terengganu State on the east coast of Malaysia:  https://asianturtlenetwork.org/project%20profiles/malaysia/kuala_terrenganu.htm

Cuora bourreti Surveys Underway
The Asian Turtle Program (ATP) began a month of surveys in Song Thanh Nature Reserve in Quang Nam Province for Cuora bourreti as part of an effort to identify a locality where a project will be initiated focused on protection of a wild population.  The project is being carried out in cooperation with the Bristol Zoo with logistical support from the WWF MOSAIC Project in Quang Nam. 

Phu Yen Trade seizure turtles (Vietnam)
On June 4, Phu Yen traffic police stopped a bus carrying 142 kg of wildlife.  Amongst the wildlife were pangolins, monitor lizards, king cobras, and four species of turtles including Indotestudo elongata, Heosemys grandis, Cuora amboinensis, and Platysternon megacephalum.  The turtles were all reportedly released in Phu Yen Province.  Source:  ENV Wildlife Crimes Unit Case 239

Dak Lak Trade Seizure turtles (Vietnam)
On June 11, traffic police seized 391 kg of wildlife from a private vehicle.  The wildlife included monitor lizards, pangolins, rat snakes, and 103 kg of turtles; Manouria impressa, Heosemys grandis, and Indotestudo elongata.  The turtles were subsequently released in the Eo So Nature Reserve in Dak Lak Province.  Source:  ENV Wildlife Crimes Unit Case 246.

New Disney grant supports awareness-raising efforts in Cambodia ? June 2006
The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was awarded a grant from Disney to support awareness-raising activities in southwestern Cambodia.  The project involves training key counterparts through Education for Nature ? Vietnam (ENV), and helping design and implement a program aimed at fostering greater support and participation from local communities in efforts to protect tortoises and freshwater turtles, with particular emphasis on Cambodia?s small surviving Batagur baska population on several southern rivers. 

Press Box

Probe on why pangolins not detected ? June 28, 2006 (Malaysia)
A news article in the Malaysian press about the Thai Airways shipment of turtles and pangolins from Malaysia that was seized in Bangkok airport. 

Thai Authorities Seize Turtles and Other Wildlife at Airport ? June 26, 2006 (Thailand)
Authorities discovered 245 pangolins and 64 turtles in a shipment originating in Malaysia and destined for Laos PDR falsely labeled as red-eared sliders, according to a TRAFFIC news brief. 

Singapore Authorities Halt Ship with Illegal Turtle Cargo ? June 18, 2006
A TRAFFIC news report on a major turtle bust in Singapore (shipment of turtles from Indonesia).

Indian star tortoises seized at Chennai Airport ? June 6, 2006 (India)
Authorities arrested a man with 540 Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans).  The smuggler was allegedly on his way to Malaysia, a reported hub for the illegal trade of turtles. 

Rare Turtles Returned from Hong Kong ? May 17, 2006 (Vietnam)
Another news article from the English-language Vietnam News on the return of Mauremys annamensis to Vietnam from Hong Kong in May.
https://asianturtlenetwork.org/library/news_articles/Rare_turtles_rescued_from_Hong_Kong_Market_VNS_ May_17_2006.pdf

The legend of the Hoan Kiem turtle ? May 28, 2006 (Vietnam)
An article that appeared in Vietnam News about the legend behind the Hoan Kiem turtle, Rafetus swinhoei

ATCN editor?s note:  The article identifies the species incorrectly as Rafetus leloii, a proposed new species to science.  However, studies by scientific institutions in Vietnam and international experts conclude that the Rafetus species found in Vietnam is Rafetus swinhoei, with a known distribution including southern China and major river systems in northern Vietnam.  The ATCN also does not support references in the article suggesting that the turtle in the lake is estimated to be between 500-700 years old.

Useful Resources

Field record form updated ? June 7, 2006

A revised version of the ATCN field record report form including new references for voucher type (section12) to include blood and tissue samples and the addition of altitude in the GPS coordinate box (section 20). 

Completed field records should be sent to the ATCN and will be added to the region?s growing database.  Special thanks to all of you that have contributed to the database with records for turtles that you have come across during your travels.

Other website developments

Fact Sheet on the Asian Turtle Crisis:  Produced by WCS in 2004 and just recently posted on the site. 

Contact Us:
Douglas Hendrie
Asian Turtle Program
PO Box 222
Hanoi, Vietnam
Tele. 844-775-3935

Questions or feedback about our website, please contact:
ATCN Website Administrator
Asian Turtle Program

The Asian Turtle Conservation Network is supported by:
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Conservation International (CI)
Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA)
Wildlife Conservation Society
Education for Nature ? Vietnam (ENV)




Contact us: