Bulletin: December 2, 2005
News From the Frontlines of Conservation
New radio telemetry study to focus on Asian Mountain Tortoises in Thailand
A graduate student from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok has begun tracking two Manouria emys phayrei at a national park in western Thailand as part of a new study focused on learning more about the home range and ecology of the tortoise in the wild. The study is supported by Craig Sanford of the University of Southern California.
The Clock is ticking for survival of the Burmese roofed turtle Kachuga trivittata
In October, the Chindwin River Conservation project was launched. Village awareness activities were carried out in five priority villages and patrols began routine coverage of critical sections of the river. For a brief summary of the project and progress in 2005:
Vietnam Vets and Keeper Staff from Rescue Centers TrainedThe Cuc Phuong National Park Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) hosted Vietnam?s first chelonian veterinary training course in November for veterinary and keeper staff from four major wildlife rescue centers in Vietnam. The course focused on management and care of confiscated turtles.
Cambodia Market Survey Finds Turtles
A brief market report by Sitha Som of the Cambodian Turtle Conservation Project documents 33 turtles representing three species.
Turtle Trade seizure in Nghe An Province: Wildlife Protection officers in Nghe An Province confiscated 120 kg of turtles from a trader originating in Binh Dinh Province. The animals were transferred to Pu Mat National Park, and a portion of the turtles were later transferred to Cuc Phuong National Park?s Turtle Conservation Center.
Cuc Phuong Completes New Wetland Enclosure
The Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) at Cuc Phuong National Park completed construction of a new wetland enclosure thanks to support provided by the British Chelonian Group (BCG). The large pool and shallow wetland will securely house Vietnam pond turtles (Mauremys annamensis), and possibly other wetland species maintained at the center.
Survey Suggests Presence of Rafetus swinhoei in Yen Bai Province
An Asian Turtle Program field team completed a third round of surveys in Thanh Hoa Province and followed up on reports of surviving Rafetus in Yen Bai Province. Local fishermen report observing a large soft-shell or more than a meter in length as recently as April 2005 in one of the lakes surveyed. The next survey will commence in February or March of 2006.
Keeled box turtle turns up in Hoan Kiem Lake:
?God Give Me Strength? were the words on the plastron of a Pyxidea mouhotii (almost exclusively a terrestrial species) chucked into Hoa Kiem Lake by a young well-wisher.
TCC Staff process Turtle Confiscated in Pu Mat
Visiting veterinarians and keepers from rescue centers helped process a shipment of turtles received from Nghe An Province.
Lucky Turtle board game maps out difficult life for turtles
Last year?s Adventures of Lucky Turtle board game helps students understand what it might be like to be a turtle in a world dominated by humans. Tam Dao Nature Club kids enjoy playing the game during a recent field testing of a new lesson plan focused exclusively on turtles.
In the Press
No new articles in the international press relevant to Asian turtles during the reporting period
Village Awareness Program for the Chindwin River Kachuga trivittata Project
One of two community-based awareness programs developed by project staff working with experts from Education for Nature ? Vietnam (ENV), designed to promote awareness amongst local residents of communities within the project area. ENV plans to work with the project to develop a lesson plan for schools and other awareness resources in early 2006.
Patrol Report Form and River Protection Unit Terms of Reference
A patrol report form and log used by the Chindwin River Project during routine patrols within the project area. Also at this site is a copy of the terms of reference (job description) for the patrol unit. These documents may be useful for other site-specific turtle protection projects with an enforcement component.
Link to Patrol Report PDF: https://asianturtlenetwork.org/library/useful_resources/Patrol_Report_Form_Chindwin.pdf
Link to Terms of Reference PDF: https://asianturtlenetwork.org/library/useful_resources/Patrol_Team_TOR_Chindwin.pdf
Asian Turtle Adoption Program Launched
The Asian Turtle Network has launched its Turtle Adoption Program, receiving its first adoption during the first week! Initially, only turtles from the Turtle Center at Cuc Phuong National Park are available for adoption in the program, though the site has been set up to facilitate multiple adoption programs from across the region where there is interest from other turtle projects.
Need Seed Grant Initiative Launched
The TSA has launched a new small grant program intended to help facilitate further development of turtle conservation initiatives in the Asia region. The grant deadline is January 31. Grants range from $1000-2000 USD.