On-going effort to find more wild Rafetus in northern Vietnam

This June, our Rafetus team conducted a two-week field observation at another large lake in northern Vietnam to find remaining wild Rafetus after the discovery of the second wild individual in Xuan Khanh Lake in April 2018. During this survey, we also used a sonar FishFinder to learn more about the composition of the lake and look for the turtle under water. We also made use of ANDe kit which was developed by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to speed up the filtration process at the site.

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High mortality seen in tortoises and freshwater turtles in Vietnam

On the 24th May 2015, a small group of three endangered Big-headed turtles (Platysternon megacephalum), five critically endangered Indochinese Box Turtles (Cuora galbinifrons), and one endangered Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata) were transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.

Sadly, 13 other animals that had been part of the full shipment of 22 confiscated from a trader in Tien Yen district, Quang Ninh province in northern Vietnam on the 21st of May 2018 did not survive long enough to be rescued.

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Implementation of smartphone-based environmental DNA testing and capture technologies to detect Rafetus swinhoei in the wild

A training workshop introducing eDNA (environmental DNA) and smartphone-based testing for the Swinhoe’s Giant Sotfshell Turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), also known as Hoan Kiem turtle, took place at Dong Mo and Xuan Khanh lakes from the 26th of April to the 9th of May 2018. This project is a pilot initiative for increasing the ability to find Rafetus swinhoei, and is a joint collaboration by the Asian Turtle Program - Indo Myanmar Conservation (ATP), the Central Institute for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) and the Wildlife Conservation Society - Viet Nam program (WCS Viet Nam). 

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Guest talk on biodiversity at Academy of Jounalism and Communication

To ensure that climate change is of particular interest to journalists, especially young journalists, Friedrich Ebert Stifung (FES) in Vietnam collaborated with Academic of Journalism and Communication (AJC) have organized workshop series on cutting down and coping with climate change and environment pollution. On 25th May 2018, Hoang Van Ha, an Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) officer, was very honored to be invited to the workshop with the theme "Biodiversity Conservation" to share knowledge about this area.

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Event series organized in Kim Son commune, Son Tay, Vietnam.

Although another Swinhoe’s softshell turtle individual was identified in Xuan Khanh lake near Hanoi, Vietnam in early 2018, Dong Mo Lake where another wild animal of the critically endangered Swinhoe’s softshell is living still plays an important role in the species conservation in Vietnam. Therefore, ATP collaborated with Hanoi Fishery Department and Kim Son commune People’s Committee to organize an event called “The fourth Rafetus swinhoei protection boat race” on 31st May 2018 to strenthen relationship among local authorities, people and ATP.

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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. 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)
- HG 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
- 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
- Ursela Kiesele
- 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
E-mail: info@asianturtleprogram.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AsianTurtleProgram
Website: www.asianturtleprogram.org