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BambooTurtle
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Postby BambooTurtle » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:54 pm

At what size or age do they become more terristrial than aquatic or can you just supply a large dish for the babies ? my three young ones are already about 5 or 6 inches ...

Tim
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Postby Tim » Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:26 pm

Hi,

I am currently based out in Vietnam where I help supervise the maintenance of a turtle rescue centre, here large numbers of hatchling Heosemys are maintained, these are kept in containers which are entirely aquatic for the first year with floating water hyacinth they seem to do fine. In the second year we try and move animals outside into enclosures with a land area, but they still spend considerable time in the pools.

All the best,

Tim

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Marnix Hoekstra
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Postby Marnix Hoekstra » Thu Dec 15, 2005 2:03 am

Hi Tim,

Are you based at the Cuc Phuong conservation center?

Marnix

Tim
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Postby Tim » Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:09 pm

Hi,

I have been based out in Cuc Phuong at the Turtle Conservation Centre (TCC) for the last 3 years but am now working from Hanoi, still helping with the TCC and managing a radio telemetry study of Pyxidea mouhotii in the national park. I am now also working on 3 other species focused projects for Rafetus swinhoei, Cuora galbinifons and Mauremys annamensis in North and Central Vietnam. Trying to get to Cuc Phuong at least once a month though as I do miss the centre.

I have also started writing up some of the data we have collected over the years on nesting, incubation and hatchling growth on Heosemys amongst other species.

What about yourself, where are you located?

Tim

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Marnix Hoekstra
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Postby Marnix Hoekstra » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:11 pm

Hello Tim,

These are very interesting projects. How many Rafetus swinhoeis have you found so far in the survey area?
Please keep us informed when you publish your data on Heosemys nesting, incubation and
hatchling growth.

What about yourself, where are you located?

I live in the Netherlands. Members of this group are spread all over the world.

Regards,
Marnix

Tim
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Postby Tim » Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:11 pm

Hi Marnix,

We have turned up some evidence from surveys in a number of provinces of north and central Vietnam, for example a number of skulls and a carapace of an animal that apparently weighed 130kg, as well as the harpoons and hooks used by hunters to catch large individual of Rafetus. But as of yet we haven't confirmed any surviving populations, we are planning another more detail visit to one of the survey areas in March 2006 when we will spend a month trying to getting a confirmation in a lake system that has been the most promising so far. Thing is that where ever these turtles are left they are likely to be so rare it may be extremely difficult to observe.

Any one on the list can find out a little info on other work around Asia and see some photos on the Asian Turtle Conservation Network (ATCN) at http://www.asianturtlenetwork.org

http://www.asianturtlenetwork.org/photo ... ei_jpg.htm

The above link is a photo taken of one specimen of Rafetus that currently remains in Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre of Hanoi, an number of other animals have died in the past and this is believed to be the last.

All the best,

Tim

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Postby Galbie » Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:47 am

Dear Tim and Marnix,

I am a turtle fan living in Hong Kong, together with my friends we have been in the past trying to save some endangered species from the food market. The situation has improved for Heosemysgrandis/ Spinosas now as they are not sold as food here anymore (but the Galbinifrons still are, sadly).

But in a trip to Guangzhou/China / Ching Ping market at the end of November 2005, we saw more than a hundred WC adult sized Heosemys grandis (dispersed in 5 shops, each carrying more than 20 adults) being sold as food. It was a very sad sight. I don't know from which country they came .........I thought they were protected. We wanted to file complaints but didn't know where to go.(Jurisdiction in China is different from that of Hong Kong)

Tim, I am very happy that somebody is studying and collecting datas for the breeding of these majestic animals. I hope the animals born in the rescue centres can balance off the poor animals illegally smuggled and killed from time to time. Ching Ping Market, and many markets in China, are like a hell for turtles.

When you completed your research, would you please let us know where we can access these information? I am sure many fans of the H. Grandis, Pyxidea Mouhottis, Galbinifrons..... would like to learn more about their favourite turtles.

Good luck to your work and all the best,

Gui Zeen Yan.

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Postby Tim » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:23 pm

Hi,

Sorry for the slow reply, I've been travelling back to the UK for the holidays. As for the situation with Heosemys grandis, I am not sure that the situation has improved for this species, it is still one of the most commonly observed species in the illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam along with Indotestudo elongata, Malayemys subtrijuga, Sibenrockiella crassicollis and cyclemys dentata. I think it is possible, as with many Asian turtle species, the situation with animals being involved in the trade has not improved, just that the animals are just not remaining in the wild in the same number as they were a few years ago.

As for galbinifrons, are you seeing them in the pet trade or food markets of Hong Kong? This is a species that is still in the trade in Vietnam, it is now considered the 3rd most valuable species in the trade and as such we don't seem to see it in confiscations as much as other species, it is seen in the pet markets of Hanoi though. This is a species that is facing significant problems because of the combination of its slow recruitment, growth and high value.

Captive breeding may be essential in the future to ensure some species survive, but I think the reduction in demand for turtles is essential if we are really to stand a chance, the reporting of animals you see for sale in Hong Kong or China can be very important to make the authorities aware of the problems and also encourage them to take action. Here in Vietnam a wildlife trade hotline has just been launched that gives the general public a number to contact if they see wildlife, staff from the hotline then follow up the cases with the appropriate government department. This kind of thing makes it a lot easier for people to report wildlife in the trade, I am not sure if this exist yet in China but will hopefully develop in the near future.

All the best,

Tim


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