Hopes raised for the conservation of the world’s rarest turtle in Vietnam; second animal photographed in Dong Mo Lake, Hanoi

Dong Mo Lake, the site of the first confirmed wild Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), has long been considered by fishermen to contain more than one of the species and our field staff believe they have seen a smaller animal on a number of occasions since 2011, but until now there hasn't been any evidence for this.

But on the 20th of August 2020, Nguyen Van Trong, the ATP/IMC local field officer, was able to capture a photo of two large softshell turtles emerged simultaneously. Although further work is required to confirm this new turtle’s identify it size gives us real hope its another Swinhoe's Softshell Turtle.

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16th Annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skills Training Course 2020

Between the 1st and 8th August 2020, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo Myanmar Conservation (IMC) and Cuc Phuong National Park welcomed students from across Vietnam to the 16th Annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skills Training Course, hosted once again at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC).

Thirteen attendees from a variety of backgrounds, including university students, park rangers, and young conservationists and biologists, travelled to the TCC for a week of classroom learning, practical sessions around the TCC and field trips into local villages and nearby forests. In fact, this edition had the most students from southern Vietnam of any course to date!

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Release of another group of endangered turtles in Vietnam

From 21st to 24th of June 2020, the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC), in collaboration with the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park, completed another release of turtles back to the wild, the third of 2020, in which 66 turtles returned to one of northern Vietnam’s protected areas.

This release involved 11 critically endangered Indochinese Box Turtles (Cuora galbinifrons), 40 endangered Big-headed Turtles (Platysternon megacephalum), 15 endangered Four-eyed Turtle hatchlings (Sacalia quadriocellata).  

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Capacity building for a priority conservation area in central Vietnam

On the 11th and 12th of June 2020, a two-day long training workshop was held in collaboration between the ATP/IMC, Quang Ngai Department of Natural Resource and Environment, and Biodiversity Conservation Agency (BCA) of Vietnam Environment Administration at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in Quang Ngai province, central 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
- Global Wildlife Conservation
- 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
- The United States Fish and Wildlife Service
- Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
- Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF)
- World Land Trust, UK
- Zoological Society of London (ZSL)

Individual donors

- Aaron Marty
- Benjamin Tapley
- Billy Tu
- Bonnie Raphael
- Chris Banks
- Christian Fröhlich
- Christopher Gertiser
- Daniel Goncalves
- Daniel Nordberg
- Diana Bell
- Doori Lichtenberger
- Duong Dang
- Georgina Devine
- Herbert Becker
- Jake Brunner
- Jackin Lam
- James Harding
- Jean-Luc Lafrogne
- Joe Monahan
- Johannes Pilz
- 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
E-mail: info@asianturtleprogram.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AsianTurtleProgram
Website: www.asianturtleprogram.org