Binh Dinh: Settlement of 102 confiscated marine turtles in question
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, it remains unclear how local authorities have since dealt with the turtle evidence. Conservationists and scientists strongly suggest that the turtles must be incinerated or transferred to an organization working purely for scientific or educational purposes, and must not be auctioned off.
Dak Lak: Gaurs’ habitat threatened
According to Dan Viet online newspaper, the habitats of gaurs, bison and other rare animals in Vietnam’s forests are in danger. The Project Management unit of Ea So Nature Reserve (Dak Lak Province) reported that a large quantity of guns, hunting tools, timber, explosives and bullets have been seized from the area. From 2009 to the present, the Forest Management Department has seized 1,300 traps around Ea So special-use forest. Scientists have also said that three gaurs and five bison have been killed in Ea So Nature Reserve.
Beelzebub, a ‘demon’ bat species discovered
An international team of biologists from the Hungarian Natural History Museum and Fauna and Flora International (FFI) have discovered three new bat species in the Southeast Asia region, including one – called Beelzebub – that has only been found in Vietnam. Beelzebub has distinctive features such as a hairy head, black back and white hairy belly. It is described as diminutive, timid but demonic-looking.
Kien Giang: Protection and restoration of dugong populations
On September 12, Thiennhien.net online newspaper reported that a program for the protection and restoration of dugong populations had been launched in Kien Giang province. The program includes surveys of dugong populations and activities to raise public awareness and capacity to preserve marine ecosystems, particularly those containing dugong populations.
Dugongs are ranked by IUCN as a ‘vulnerable species’ because of degradation of seagrass beds (their food source) caused by pollution, illegal fishing and and urban development. According to scientists, there are only 100,000 dugongs living in the world, of which there are only 100 living in Phu Quoc (Kien Giang).
Vinh Phuc: Bear preservation hopes and challenges
After more than four years, Animals Asia Bear Sanctuary in Vinh Phuc province has rescued some dozens of bears from captivity. Although a number of rescued bears are still too small to release, Center staff hope to rescue, treat and release more bears back to their natural forest habitat.
At the Center, bears are raised under good conditions, and provided with medical treatment and care. In Vietnam, the number of bears being hunted and the illegal trade in bear bile are increasing annually. Hundreds of bears are illegally held in private cages. These issues highlight the need to maintain and develop bear preservation throughout Vietnam.
Thailand: Over 3000 animals confiscated from Thai smuggling operation
On September 9, Thai police and wildlife control authorities, seized over 3000 rare animals in the biggest wildlife trafficking case this year. Police confiscated 2721 monitor lizards, 717 turtles, 44 civets and 20 snakes. The animals are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, of which Thailand is a member.
Hoang Hue Linh
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)