Back in the Wild - 101 endangered turtles released in southern Vietnam

On the 21st and 22nd of August 2018, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) has collaborated with the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park and Me Linh Station for Biodiversity of Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources (IEBR) to carry out the first tortoise and freshwater turtle release of this year. This release has brought home 101 individuals of three endangered species, namely the Giant Asian Pond Turtle (Heosemys grandis), Yellow-headed Temple Turtle (Heosemys annandalii) and Elongated Tortoise (Indotestudo elongata). Many of the animals released were juveniles from hatchling success at the TCC or rescued from the wildlife trade. Despite the bad weather, heavy rain, muddy roads, and long travel time, we all felt extremely happy to see those endangered turtles back in the wild.

A long term captivity  Giant Asian Pond Turtle (Heosemys grandis) individual is wondering around his new home. Photo by: Hoang Van Ha – ATP/IMC.
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Second rescue of turtles from Quang Nam province, central Vietnam

Following last May’s rescue, on Wednesday (15th August 2018) our rescue team made another trip to Quang Nam province in central Vietnam follow a confiscation made by the provincial Police Investigation Department. This rescue involved 37 endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles including 18 Keeled Box Turtles (Cuora mouhotii), 1 Big-headed Turtle (Platysternon megacephalum), 2 Impressed Tortoises (Manouria impressa), 14 Bourret’s Box Turtles (Cuora bourreti) and 2 Southern Asian Leaf Turtles (Cyclemys oldhamii).

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The home of the Hoan Kiem turtle under threat from intensive fishing

From the 21st of June to the 3rd of July 2018, the peacefulness of Dong Mo lake, Hanoi, Vietnam, and home to the worlds rarest turtle, was broken by intensive and continuous fishing activity. The lake is home to Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), better known in Vietnam as the Hoan Kiem turtle. A team of 12 fishermen used a 1.5km long series of nets to drive fish into a net trap 40m long, 40m wide and 20m deep. 

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Warning: painted turtle trade – potential threats to turtles and human

Recently, painted Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) have been displayed and traded online in Vietnam. These baby turtles are painted with various colours, designs and patterns on their carapaces. However, the paint can exert fatal impacts on the turtles. According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC), the paints can hinder the turtles’ ability to absorb vitamins they need from the sun, lead to respiratory problems, and possibly allow toxic chemicals into the bloodstream.

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Short report on turtle conservation at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park

VTC Digital Television has made a short report on turtle conservation at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh province in Vietnam which is managed in cooperation with the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC).

We hope that through this short report, people will better understand the conservation of turtles as well as discourage people from hunting, trading, consuming or keep them as pets.

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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)
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ)
- Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)
- HDH Wills Foundation
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
- IUCN Netherlands - Purchase of Nature
- Paradise Park Zoo, UK
- Rainforest Trust
- 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
- Daniel Goncalves
- Daniel Nordberg
- Diana Bell
- Doori Lichtenberger
- Duong Dang
- 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
- Yasemin Kukkla
- Zachary Eben Frenzel

Asian Turtle Program of Indo-Myanmar Conservation

Room#1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46 
Phone:+84 (0) 24 7302 8389