In the fall of 2008, we initiated a status assessment and experimental hatch-and-release program for the endangered Indian Narrow Headed Softshell turtle (Chitra indica).  This is an extensively hunted species in north India, mostly for its outer cartilaginous rim or “calipee.”  Although its dried calipee is considered to be sub-standard in comparison to the other…

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The African division of the Turtle Survival Alliance has been created and is based in Senegal, a small country in West Africa. The chairman of the group is Tomas Diagne, an agronomist who is also member of IUCN/TFTSG. TSA Africa’s main objective is the study and conservation of land tortoises and freshwater turtles and their…

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There was good news recently for a rare species of River Terrapin (Batagur baska, now re-classified as Batagur affinis) in the Sre Ambel area of Cambodia’s coastal region, with the successful hatching of 23 eggs on a beach in the Sre Ambel River.The Fisheries Administration and WCS have been working with communities in the Sre…

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With the help of the Center for Wildlife Research and Conservation Action, a volunteer student network based at Guwahati University’s Zoology Department, we initiated a freshwater turtle education program in the state of Assam (northeast India adjacent to northern Myanmar).  This project aims to spread awareness regarding various endangered freshwater turtle species especially Pangshura sylhetensis,…

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The Arakan forest turtle (Heosemys depressa) is endemic to the Arakan Hills of western Myanmar, and considered one of the least known turtles in the world.  Heosemys depressa is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN due to continuing over-exploitation and its limited distribution.  To gain a better understanding of the biology of this poorly…

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Torrential monsoon rains caused rivers to spill over their banks and brought water in lakes and reservoirs to capacity throughout northern Vietnam.  It was mid-November 2008 and Team Rafetus Vietnam had just completed a series of awareness activities in local communities surrounding Dong Mo Lake (located about 60 km west of Hanoi) where the world’s…

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With the collaborative support of the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Beneficia Foundation, we are trying to develop a major intervention program through resource assessment and eco-friendly alternative livelihood options for different socio-economic groups to reduce the anthropogenic pressures on the river ecosystem. During the first phase of the program, we surveyed a 100 km…

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Alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) conservation has received substantial attention in Oklahoma for over a decade, starting with a state-wide survey of populations in the 1990s, the results of which triggered the inception of a captive propagation and reintroduction program by Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery and Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge. This program is ongoing, and…

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