On an area of over 3,000m2 of the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Centre there were rows of cages, crates, stables and basins to keep over 1,000 turtles that belong to 20 out of the 25 species of tortoises and fresh-water turtles known to be in Vietnam.
Of them, some species have been listed in Vietnam ’s Red Book, such as Cuora galbinifrons, Cuora mouhotii, Mauremys annamensis, Hieremys annandalii, Sacalia quadriocellata, Indotestudo elongata and Ocadia sinensis.
Over the past years the Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Centre has taken great efforts and researched successfully the process of hatching the turtle’s eggs in closed room. So far, they have hatched successfully 13 species of turtles, including rare and precious species.
Also, the Centre has undertaken turtle rescue work. Recently, it has coordinated with the forest management forces of Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa Provinces to confiscate a large amount of turtles from smugglers who were transporting the turtles to the Chinese border.
In 2006, under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) – an international convention that bans the trade of endangered species of fauna and flora, Hong Kong (China) returned to the Centre 34 pond turtles of the precious species Mauremys annamensis, which had been caught and sold to the Hong Kong market by smugglers seven years before.
According to the assessment by experts of the Asian Turtle Programme, Vietnam is one of the countries having the most biological diversity in turtles in the region, with 25 species of tortoises and freshwater turtles, including Mauremys annamensis, an endemic species which has been listed as critically endangered in the World’s Red Book.
A Pyxidea mouhotii baby is coming out of the shell.
Cadres from the Cuc Phuong Turtle Rescue and Conservation Centre during their trip in the jungle to seek a turtle (Pyxidia mouhotii) pinned with a GPS chip and living in a natural environment.
Manager of Cuc Phuong Turtle Conservation Centre Bui Dang Phong (right) and expert Tim McCormack from the Asian Turtle Programme finds a turtle pinned with
a GPS chip in Cuc Phuong forest.
Lana Judd, turtle expert from New Zealand, during a trip to Cuc Phuong forest, for a research of the Pyxidea mouhotii turtle.
Bui Dang Phong was successful in his research to hatch 13 species of turtles, including Vietnam’s endemic species, in these simple artificial hatchers.
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