Useful Resources >> Introduction to Asian Regional Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Atlas
Asian Turtle Conservation Network
June 2, 2004
As many of you are aware, Asia?s tortoises and freshwater turtles are critically threatened by the combined impacts of the hunting for the illegal trade and loss of habitat. Since the early 1990?s the systematic and wide-scale exploitation of turtles to feed the demands of export markets, mainly in China, has devastated wild populations across the region.
One of the difficulties facing turtle conservation efforts is the lack of information relevant to the current status and location of wild populations where they persist. With a few exceptions, very little information is available that would allow conservation efforts to focus on sites where specific turtle species can still be found, or make any form of reasonable assessment as to actual species present in a particular area. Moreover, the distribution and habitat of many species is poorly known.
Presently, the Asian Turtle Conservation Network is in the process of building a database to accumulate field records for turtles in the region that are observed during the course of biological surveys or other field-related activities. The ?Asia Regional Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Atlas? will incorporate the findings of biological inventories, incidental records, museum specimens, and other reliable field reports from throughout the region, with an initial pilot program planned for 2004 focused on Indochina.
I would kindly appreciate your assistance in our efforts to develop the turtle atlas, and ask that you distribute the attached field record report form and directions to relevant field projects and staff.
By mid-2004, the initial stages of the atlas will be made available to the conservation and scientific community through the Asian Turtle Conservation Network website. Organizations and people with validated records will receive credit as appropriate associated with any submissions to the atlas that are made.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or the network coordinator, Rowena Humphreys.
Douglas B. Hendrie
Asia Regional Turtle Conservation Coordinator
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)
PO Box 222