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Asian Turtle News

News from the Frontlines of Conservation
The Asian Turtle Conservation Network (ATCN)
PO Box 179, Office # 1101, Hacisco Tower, Ngo 107, Nguyen Chi Thanh, Hanoi. Tel; +84(04)37737858
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15 October 2009

Interview surveys for the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) in Binh Dinh and Phu Yen Provinces.
From the 4 - 25 of August 2009 rapid interview surveys were conducted through Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces in central Vietnam by the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. The survey was focused on collecting local hunting and trade data to identify potential habitat for critically endangered and endemic turtle species potentially occurring in the provinces, including the Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis), Bourret’s Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) and the Lesser Indochinese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata). The team included two ATP staff, Tim McCormack and Nguyen Chi Nhan and two student volunteers Nguyen Thu Thuy and Pham Van Thong. During the surveys all nine districts of Phu Yen province were visited and 82 interviews conducted with over 130 turtles of ten species observed. While in Binh Dinh eight of the ten districts conducting a further 90 interviews observing an additional 30 turtles of six species. Information was also collected on hunting traditions, techniques and changes in wild turtle populations observed by rural communities. Importantly both Mauremys annamensis and Cuora bourreti were observed in local trade of both provinces. A single large trader in Phu Yen Province was seen keeping over 20 Mauremys annamensis and claimed to have over 70 a fully protected species under Decree 32. A second large and active trader also in Phu Yen province was seen keeping 98 individuals of nine species including 61 Elongated Tortoises (Indotestudo elongata) protected under national law and a single Mauremys annamensis. A number of districts were identified in which good habitat still remains fro Mauremys and it is hoped future surveys will be able to confirm remaining populations in the wild. The team would like to support the Forest Protection Department (FPD) of Phu Yen and Binh Dinh province for their assistance with the surveys and The Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF) and the World Wildlife Fund Russell E. Train Education for Nature Program Press release by: Nguyen Thu Thuy – Asian Turtle Program volunteer Pham Van Thong – Asian Turtle Program volunteer For further information please contact: Asian Turtle Program PO Box 179 Hanoi, Vietnam Tel: +84 (0) 437737858 Email: ATCNnetwork@fpt.vn Visit the Asian Turtle Conservation Network website: www.asianturtlenetwork.org A large number of protected and endangered Elongated Tortoises being kept by one trader seen in Phu Yen Province.
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Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) observed in a trader’s house in Phu Yen Province.

Nguyen Chi Nhan and Pham Van Thong complete a field record for a Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis)

Information for large softshell turtles, possibly Pelochelys cantorii, were collected for the Ba River in Phu Yen Province.

The team conducting an interview in Phu Yen Province.

Rice field are replacing habitat of Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) throughout much of the species historic range