Binh Dinh: Confiscated turtles will be destroyed
As reported previously by ENV, on July 31, Binh Dinh Province market management authorities and police seized 102 marine turtles that were being illegally transported in a car. The turtles, which were Hawksbill sea turtles, are listed as a rare and endangered species in CITES, IUCN Red List and the Vietnamese Red List 2007.
The turtles had died before being transferred to Binh Dinh province Market Management facilities for storage. However, according to the leader of the department, the turtle evidence will be destroyed before the case is closed.
On August 29, Binh Dinh Province Market Management transferred the case to Binh Dinh Police for further investigation.
Red-eared slider turtles: the hidden danger
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified red-eared slider turtles among the world’s worst invasive species. According to scientists, the turtle affects freshwater ecosystems and may even cause problems with the invasive apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata.
Red-eared slider turtles were introduced into Vietnam over 10 years ago and – despite their impact – are openly traded within the country, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Scientists advise that the turtle should be removed from all waters in Vietnam.
Quang Tri: Seizure of wildlife
On August 23, the Economic Crime Investigation Police Department (PC 46) and Quang Tri Police (PC 67) stopped a car which was carrying 61.5 kg of wild animals. The animals included five king cobras (Ophiophagus hannah), twosacks ofcommon rat snakes (Ptyas mucosus), threeclouded monitors (Varanus bengalensis), tworeticulated pythons (Python reticulates), threeAsiatic soft-shell turtles (Amyda cartilaginea), onekeeled box turtle (Cuora mouhotii), threeMalayan snail-eating turtles (Malayemys subtrijuga) and sixAsian leaf turtles (Cyclemys tcheponensis).
The wildlife was released to Bac Huong Hoa Protected Area by Quang Tri police and Quang Tri FPD. The subject will be prosecuted in pursuance to Article 190 of the Criminal Code.
(Case Ref. 3659/ ENV)
Brazil: New monkey species discovered in Amazon
Scientists have discovered a new species of monkey on an expedition into one of the least known areas of the Brazilian Amazon, highlighting the need for increased protection of rainforest in the region.
The monkey is a new species of titi monkey, with different colored markings on its head and tail compared to previously known species.
The trek also revealed 48 mammal species, 208 fish species and 313 bird species living in the area.
The presence of these species, highlights the importance of protecting their habitat from illegal deforestation and the unregulated expansion of cattle farms. Mato Grosso, the Brazilian state where the trek occurred, has the highest rate of deforestation in the Amazon.
Laos: Rare crocodiles hatched from eggs
Last week, 20 Siamese crocodiles – the world’s rarest crocodile – were hatched from eggs found by a team of villagers in Savannakhet province, southern Laos.
Experts believe there are only around 300 Siamese crocodiles living in the wild, throughout the world.
The 20 crocodiles will be released into their natural habitat when they are strong enough. Savannakhet’s villagers also found another nest containing 20 Siamese crocodile eggs, which have been left to hatch naturally.
Thailand’s growing trade in wild animals
In 2010, authorities at Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok) discovered a newborn tiger in the suitcase of a woman waiting for her flight to Iran. Thailand Customs have also found 451 turtles hidden in suitcases from Bangladesh, another major transit point for smuggling wild animals. Recently, the smuggling of the Northern white-cheeked gibbon – a rare species in Vietnam and Laos – has spread throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand.
Thailand is considered one of the biggest markets in Asia for illegal trade in wild animals. The Environmental Crime Agency of Thailand has admitted that smuggling wild animals is the second most popular illegal trade in the country, after drug trafficking.
Malaysia exposed as major transit point for ivory
Malaysia has been named in the latest Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) report as ‘a country of concern’.
On August 23, 1,041 elephant tusks destined for Malaysia, were seized by authorities in Tanzania. The killing of more than 500 elephants for the tusks, has now turned the spotlight on Malaysia as a significant transit point for the illegal elephant ivory trade.
An officer from Malaysia’s wildlife program has urged his Government to work with African nations to put a stop to the trade.
Nguyen Phuong Lien
Education for Nature - Vietnam
No. 5 Ngo 192 Thai Thinh
PO Box 222
Dong Da district
Phone/fax: +84 4 3514-8850
www.savingvietnamswildlife.org (English wildlife trade website)