Asian Turtle Program
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No. 281, 7th April 2017

1. Morocco: Reptiles being sold openly and illegally in Moroccan markets
Many species on sale are threatened with extinction, a new study has found.
SOURCE: - DATE: 3rd April 2017

On the streets of Morocco, several species of lizards, tortoise and snakes are being sold openly for use in traditional medicine, a new study has found. Many of these species are threatened with extinction.

Over the course of four surveys in 2013 and 2014, researchers recorded more than 1,500 specimens of at least nine reptile species for sale in 14 markets in Moroccan towns, including the Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), Bell’s Dabb Lizard (Uromastyx acanthinura), and the Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca). Sold live, dried, or stuffed, these animals had a combined value of about $100,000, scientists report in a new study published in the journal Contributions to Zoology.

Link to this web article online (English)

Hawksbill sea turtle

© Marrakesk

sea turtle


2. Thailand: Tests show another turtle confirmed to have ingested coins
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th April 2017

Nine more sea turtles at the Sea Turtle Conservation Centre on Munnai Island in Rayong, Thailand have been examined to determine whether they had coins in their digestive system, with one turtle confirmed to have four coins in its stomach.

Link to this web article online (English)

3. Vietnam: Famer got rich by breeding and selling Yellow Asian Pond Turtles
SOURCE: – DATE: 4th April 2017

This article shows the story of a man who, for 10 years, has been making a living breeding and selling endangered Yellow Asian pond turtles (Mauremys mutica). Unfortunately, this industry is extremely profitable and although this species is listed as CITES Appendix II they are still hunted in the wild and bred illegally. Sadly, these kinds of farms are operating with little regulation.

ATP NOTE: Many farms in Vietnam remain poorly regulated and farm investigations have repeatedly found laundering of wild animals within them. Species such as Mauremys mutica continue to decline in the wild despite farms in China and Vietnam maintaining large captive populations.

Link to this web article online (Vietnamese)

turtles in captive

© Dan Viet

turtles in captive

© Dan Viet

4. India: 6,500 turtle hatchlings released into sea in Villupuram
SOURCE: – DATE: 6th April 2017

With the Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) nesting season coming to an end, district forest officials in Villupuram have successfully released 6,500 turtle hatchlings into the sea over the last four months.

Link to this web article online (English)


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