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The Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC)
in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam

CALL FOR DONATIONS!!! CALL FOR DONATIONS!!! CALL FOR DONATIONS!!!

Support the TCC and its conservation activities in 2014!

For 2014 the TCC needs additional funds for maintaining the current population of over 600 turtles. Funds will be also used to finance rescue and release operations as well as education activities in the centre.

Previous sponsors like the Intrepid Foundation have already commited to continue their support of the TCC next year and we are almost there!

Your donation could make the difference.

Help us reaching our target budget of $13,000!

Please contact Mr Hao Do Thanh (TCC manager) in regards to donations and funding - [email protected]
or donate by visiting the ATP donation page (designated use: TCC)

 

The Turtle Conservation Center (TCC) is located at Cuc Phuong National Park, 120 km kilometers southwest from Hanoi, Vietnam. The TCC was established by Fauna Flora International (FFI) in 1998 as a rescue and holding center for tortoise and freshwater turtles which were seen in the extensive illegal wildlife trade during the 1980's and 1990's . It was widely recognized that this trade, largely to China for consumption as food and for traditional medicines was entirely unsustainable and needed to be addressed.

The TCC rapidly developed into a conservation project and was transferred to the national park management at the end of 2001. Today, the TCC serves as a regional flagship for tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation efforts and for educating the public about the critical threat to the survival of turtles in Vietnam.

Entrance to the TCC and the Visitor Interpretation Center (VIC)

 

The center encompasses an area of about 7,000 square meters comprised of enclosures, aquatic tanks, and specialized breeding and holding facilities for more than 600 turtles representing 19 of Vietnam's 25 native species . Most animals at the TCC have been confiscated by wildlife protection authorities from the illegal trade or were hatched at the center.

The TCC has now developed clear objectives to increase the center's impact on turtle conservation activities in Vietnam:

A semi natural enclosure at the TCC in Cuc Phuong National Park, vegetation and shading provide an excellent enclosure for forest dependant species like the Cuc Phuong native Keeled Box turtle (Cuora mouhotii)

 

1. Rescue, holding and releasing turtles confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade

Currently housing over 600 animals of 19 native species the TCC has played a central role in ensuring turtles in the illegal trade can be rescued and cared for.

Although large confiscations of turtles are becoming rare in Vietnam, the TCC still receives endangered and critically endangered turtles from the trade. In 2011 transfers to the the TCC included Indochinese box turtles (Cuora galbinifrons), Bourret's box turtles (Cuora bourreti), Keeled Box turtles (Cuora mouhotii) and Four-eyed turtles (Sacalia quadriocellata).

Since it is difficult finding protected nature areas where it is relatively safe to release turtles, the TCC maintains turtles until appropriate release sites are found:

For example, in 2011, the TCC released 10 Impressed Tortoises (Manouria impressa) in the Pu Mat National Park. The Impressed Tortoise is a delicate species and difficult to keep in captivity, therefore, the TCC decided to give them a second chance in the wild.

In early 2012, the TCC in cooperation with Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) transferred 186 turtles to the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station in southern Vietnam, a project of Wildlife at Risk (WAR). The shipment included Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata), Giant Asian pond turtles (Heosemys grandis), Yellow Headed Temple turtles (Heosemys annadalii), South Asian box turtles (Cuora amboinensis) and Black Marsh turtles (Siebenrockiella crassicollis) which are all native to central or southern Vietnam and will be released to suitable areas in the near future.

 

Elongated tortoises (Indotestudo elongata) from the TCC being released in Lo Go Xa Mat National Park

Species currently held at the TCC:

* Breeding species at the TCC
** CR - Critically Endangered; EN – Endangered; VU – Vulnerable; NE - Not evaluated; lc - Least Concern

 

2. Awareness and education

In 2010 the TCC opened a section of the turtle center to the park's 80,000 annual visitors as part of an initiative to enhance potential opportunities to raise public awareness. The visitor interpretation center (VIC) includes underwater viewing tanks, an incubation viewing room, outdoor enclosures and large ponds where turtles can be seen in near wild settings. Throughout the VIC interpretive panels, photographs and sign-boards have been created to educate visitors, students, rangers and officials about the diverse and endangered turtle fauna of Vietnam. It has become a priority at the TCC to increase public awareness on the values of protecting wildlife as this is a fundamental first step to protect tortoises and freshwater turtles in Vietnam.

For this reason, the TCC also attaches special importance on training students and young professionals, preferably Vietnamese, to encourage the next generation of young turtle scientists and conservationists:

Since 2005 the TCC and the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo annually hold a Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course for university students and rangers from Vietnam. The week long training course has been increasingly popular with 82 applicants from over 28 universities and colleges applying in 2011. The course provides participants with knowledge about the extinction threats facing Asia's turtles, about turtle ecology and how to identify different turtle species native to Vietnam. Many participants from the course have completed university thesis projects on turtle research, some of them based at the TCC.

The center has also established a program to give students and staff from international universities and zoos the opportunity to gain experience and exchange knowledge through conducting short research projects or volunteering at the center.

 

Vietnamese visitors on a tour through the visitor interpretation center

Students taking pictures of turtles in the underwater viewing tank of the VIC

Hoang Van Thai, manager of the TCC, teaching students at the annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skill Training Course about turtle ecology

Sandra Weimer, a wildlife management student from the Netherlands, preparing a wild Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) for a radio telemetry study in Cuc Phuong National Park

 

 

3. Captive breeding

With so many turtles coming into the center it has been essential to identify priorities for conservation breeding activities. Limited resources make a professional breeding program for many species difficult. For this reason, a breeding priority at the TCC is a turtle species native to Cuc Phuong National Park, the Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii). However, the TCC keeps individuals of the same species in large enclosures and incubates eggs found in these enclosures. Please check the species list above for species currently reproducing at the TCC.

A Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) hatchling, hatched at the TCC in 2006

 

 

TCC article links:

16th February 2016 - Rescue of critical tortoise and freshwater turtles in Vietnam Soc Son TCC transfer
1st February 2016 - Cuc Phuong National Park breeding success for the Vietnamese Pond Turtle in 2015 mauremys breeding in TCC
23rd November 2015 - Filming season at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) in Vietnam TCC filming
23rd November 2015 - X-raying Big Headed Turtles in Hanoi, Vietnam x-ray Big-headed turtles
4th October 2015 - Critical confiscation of highly endangered tortoises need help in Vietnam major turtle confiscation in Hanoi

19th August 2015 - Turtles rescued in Nghe An province, Vietnam

cuora galbinifrons
21st July 2015 - Turtles rescued in Da Nang city turtles rescued in Da Nang
July 2015 - U.S. Secretary of the Interior visits the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Vietnam. US Interior Secretary visit CPNP
20th June 2015 - 27 Critically Endangered Big-headed Turtle rescued in Vietnam rescue big-headed turtle
30th December 2014 - New Developments at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Vietnam TCC incubator chiller
23rd May 2014 - 4 endangered Keeled box turtles (Cuora mouhotii) transferred to the TCC after student training
18th June 2013 - Social media leads to transfer of endangered turtles to the Turtle Conservation Centre in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam
16th May 2013 - Web monitoring and collaboration with Kanh Hoa officials lead to the rescue of critically endangered Vietnamese pond turtles

10th April 2013 - Yellow-headed temple turtles hatch at the Turtle Conservation Centre in Cuc Phuong National Park

24th October 2012 - Confiscated turtles from Ha Tinh province transferred to the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC)

5th September 2012 - Record year for Keeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii) hatchlings at the Turtle Conservation Centre

29th August 2012 - Celebrations for the first autumn hatchlings at the Turtle Conservation Centre, Vietnam

15th June 2012 - First Mauremys annamensis eggs of the season at the TCC

20th April 2012 - Two Keeled box turtle hatchlings found in semi-wild enclosure at the Turtle Conservation Centre, Vietnam

19th April 2012 - Keeled box turtle handed in by student returned to its home in Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam

15th March 2012 - Cuc Phuong National Park transfers 186 turtles to Southern Vietnam

24th November 2011 - Confiscation in Vietnam, new Four-eyed Turtles join the captive breeding group in Cuc Phuong National Park

23rd November 2011 - More breeding success for the Four-eyed turtle at Cuc Phuong National Park

21st November 2011 - The Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) of Cuc Phuong National Park celebrates hatchlings in 2011

30th September 2011 - TCC supports morphometric study of elongated tortoise

15th September 2011 - Indochinese Box Turtle hatches at the Turtle Conservation Center in Cuc Phuong National Park

20th July 2011 - Impressed tortoises given a second chance in Pu Mat National Park, Vietnam

6th June 2011 Keeled Box Turtle hatchling found in semi-wild enclosure at the Turtle Conservation Centre, Vietnam

20th May 2011 - Lucky Keeled Box Turtles make it home after a close call with traders

4th May 2011 - Critically endangered turtle rescued by student after participating in field skill training course

9th October 2009 - Keeled box turtle rescued following web monitoring

Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) - Activity report 2007

7th June 2007 - Lucky turtles saved from the cooking pot back in the wild

24th September 2003 - A release of turtles from the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC), Cuc Phuong National Park in Cat Tien National Park

 

More TCC in the news:

 

Article on the Intrepid Foundation's support of the TCC:

Intrepid Foundation is aiming to provide an alternative to wildlife trafficking

 

 

Contact information:

Mr Hao Do Thanh

Turtle Conservation Centre, Cuc Phuong National Park
Nho Quan town, Ninh Binh province, Vietnam

Tel: +84 (0) 303 848 090 - Mobile: +84 (0) 975 156 258
Email: [email protected]


Thank you:

 

TCC would like to thank Cuc Phuong National Park, Columbus Zoo, the Intrepid Foundation, Greenville Zoo, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV) and the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) for their financial and technical support in 2013.




Support Our Conservation Activities, if you would like to make a donation for the Turtle Conservation Centre you can contact TCC management or make a visit ATP's donations page. Please specify in the subject matter that you are making a donation to the TCC.

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    ATP would like to thanks the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund for supporting this website
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Room 1806 CT1, C14 Bac Ha Building, To Huu Street, Nam Tu Liem district, Hanoi, Vietnam
PO Box 46
Phone:+84 (0) 4 7302 8389
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Website: www.asianturleprogram.org

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