The female Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle passed away in China

On April the 12th of 2019, a team of international experts, together with Suzhou Zoo employees, performed the fifth artificial insemination with the remaining male and female Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei) at Suzhou Zoo, China. Semen collection and artificial insemination was competed. Prior to formal semen collection and insemination, the team of experts performed physical, blood and ultrasound health examinations on both animals and found that they were in good health. Similar to the past four artificial insemination activities, the artificial insemination process went smoothly and there was no complications during the procedure. Sadly the female Rafetus did not wake up and after 24 hours she died

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Rescue of 15 turtles and 1 pangolin in Ha Tinh Province, Vietnam

On the 23rd of April 2019, a rescue team from the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) and the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park joined staff from Save Vietnam's Wildlife (SVW) to travel to Huong Son Town in Ha Tinh province to rescue a number of turtles and a pangolin from the wildlife trade.

The rescued animals included a single pangolin and 17 turtles of 4 species: one Southeast Asian Softshell Turtle (Amyda ornata), seven critically endangered Indochinese Box Turtles (Cuora galbinifrons), five endangered Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii) and four endangered Big-Headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum) (two of which unfortunately did not survive). The animals were being smuggled from Laos into Vietnam on a bus when Huong Son Town Police Department intercepted the vehicle and seized the animals.

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Looking for love in Vietnam – Lonely endemic Vietnamese Pond Turtle comes home

On the 10th of April 2019, one Lucky Lady, Cathay the critically endangered Vietnamese Pond Turtle (Mauremys annamensis) arrived at Hanoi's Noi Bai airport in Vietnam. At 2 kilograms Cathay is a lovely example of this species which is found nowhere else in the world except for a few provinces in central Vietnam. Cathay had been rescued in Kong Kong where she was transferred to the Kadoorie Farm & Botanical Garden, unfortunately she was all alone as the only member of her species in the centre. Now she is back home, Cathay will hopefully find love in Cuc Phuong National Park in northern Vietnam where a few hundred of her species, including some eligible bachelors, are at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC). 

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Scholarship for Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skills Training Course 2019 in Laos

The Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) is pleased to announce the launch of the 2019 Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skills Training Course. This year's course will be hosted by the ATP and Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife (LCTW) from 21st to 28th July 2019 at the LCTW Headquarters, Namak village, Ban Keun, Lao PDR.

Applicants can fill out an online application form at or email a completed application form and supporting documents to

Application deadline: 30th April 2019

Click here to download the English application form

Click here to download the English course information sheet

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Vietnam passes new law protecting endangered turtles – 13 species given protection for the first time

On the 22nd of January 2019, Vietnam approved a new law which provides further protection to, among other species of animal and plant, many native and threatened tortoise and freshwater turtle (TFT) species. Decree 06/2019/ND-CP builds upon the protection given by previous decrees (Decree 32/2006/ND-CP and Decree 160/2013/ND-CP) to cover more species and consolidate the security of those already protected. In fact, Decree 06 lists 23 of Vietnam’s 25 native TFT species; only the Chinese Stripe-Necked Turtle (Mauremys sinensis) and the Vietnamese Softshell Turtle (Pelodiscus parviformis) are not included. 13 of these species have been offered national protection for the first time, including the critically endangered Bourret’s Box Turtle (Cuora bourreti) and Southern Vietnamese Box Turtle (Cuora picturata), the latter of which is a Vietnamese endemic.

Click here to download the updated list of TFT species in Vietnam and their conservation status

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Big-headed turtle illegal trade in Vietnam

The Big-Headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum) is an endangered turtle species distributed in Northern and Central Vietnam and the neighbouring countries, Laos, Thailand, China, Cambodia. With a large head and elongated beak-like jaw, this species cannot retract its head into its shell. Instead, it is able to use these powerful jaws to defend itself from predators.

Despite this fierce appearance and the fact that it is protected under national law, the Big-Headed Turtle is currently one of the most commonly trafficked turtle species in the illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam. 

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Thank you !!!

For making it to the end of this newsletter and for supporting us on every single project, rescue or release.

If you would like to receive updates and news from the ATP/IMC, please sign up here!!!


We would also like to thank all of our government and non-government partners that we work with on different projects.

Your support helps make all this work possible. If you would like to see more conservation projects, rescues or releases please make a donation.


Organizational donors

- American Association of Zoo Keepers
- Bristol Zoo, UK
- British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA)
- British Herpetological Society
- British Chelonian Group (BCG)
- Browse Poster, UK
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ)
- Chevrolet Vietnam
- Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)
- Drayton Manor Park and Zoo
- The HDH Wills Wildlife Maintenance Trust
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- IUCN Netherlands - Purchase of Nature
- Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF)
- Paradise Park Zoo, UK
- Paignton Zoo Environmental Park
- Rainforest Trust
- Segré Foundation
- Thanh Truong Loc Construction Ltd. Company
- The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund
- Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF)
- World Land Trust, UK
- Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Individual donors

- Aaron Marty
- Benjamine Tapley
- Billy Tu
- Bonnie Raphael
- Chris Banks
- Christian Fröhlich
- Daniel Goncalves
- Daniel Nordberg
- Diana Bell
- Doori Lichtenberger
- Duong Dang
- Georgina Devine
- Herbert Becker
- Jake Brunner
- Jackin Lam
- James Harding
- Joe Monahan
- Lena Helena
- Louise Fletcher
- Luke Pitts
- Nam Anh
- Phuong Mai
- Scott Trageser
- Siegfried Stricker/ Christel Stricker
- Stephane Levesque
- Ta Thuong
- The Days
- Tony Walker
- Ursela Kiesele
- William Bain
- Yasemin Kukkla
- Zachary Eben Frenzel

Asian Turtle Program of Indo-Myanmar Conservation

Registered with Charity Commission for England & Wales, no. 1126123
UK: 15 Lime Walk, Ripon, North Yorkshire, HG42NF, United Kingdom
Vietnam: Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46 - Hanoi International Post Office
Phone:+84 (0) 24 7302 8389