News Brief (E446, December 08, 2011)
Binh Duong: 14 Asiatic black bears transferred voluntarily
In November, the owner of a large bear farm in Thuan An district contacted the Forest Protection Department (FPD) in Binh Duong province to voluntarily transfer 14 Asiatic black bears (Selenarctos thibetanus) from his farm. The FPD instructed its local department to transfer all the bears to the Animals Asia Bear Sanctuary. On December 4, the bears were successfully delivered to Tam Dao. This positive move represents a significant step towards bear protection in Vietnam.
(Case Ref. 3856/ENV)
Ha Tinh: 50 kg of pangolin seized
On December 5, the Anti-smuggling and Investigation Department, part of the Customs Department, at Treo Bridge International Border Gate discovered 11 pangolins (Manis javanica) hidden in a number of bags. All pangolins were alive and had a total weight of about 50 kg. The Customs Department transferred the pangolins to the FPD of Ha Tinh province.
Pangolins belong to group IIB of Decree 32/ND-CP – the group of rare animals restricted from being held in captivity, hunted, traded or killed.
Quang Nam: 60 kg of wildlife seized
On November 30, the Crime Investigation Police team in Tam Ky district stopped a motorbike in An Son Ward and discovered 10 plastic net bags which were full of live wildlife, including pythons, turtles, ferrets and snakes. The total weight of these wild animals was around 60 kg. All wildlife were subsequently transferred to the Forest Protection Department of Quang Ngai province. The case is still under investigation.
Dak Lak: Transporting rare wild animals
On November 22, rangers in Cu Yang Sin National Park seized a subject transporting a large blue bag which was full of dead wildlife. The rangers discovered 14 black-shanked douc langurs (Pygathrix nigripes) and one stump- tailed macaque (Macaca arctoides) in the bag. All animals were dried and intact. The subject and wildlife were transferred to the Police Department in Krong Bong District, which has just initiated prosecution against the subject for transporting rare, wild animals.
Black-shanked douc langurs belong to group IB and stump-tailed macaques belong to group IIB of Decree 32/ND-CP – groups of rare wild animals prohibited or limited from being held in captivity, hunted, traded or killed respectively.
Cao Bang: Selling bamboo rats on Highway No. 3
Every day, many bamboo rats are sold to tourists in the area of Tai Ho Sin. The local farmers catch bamboo rats in the bamboo forests and break their teeth so that the rats can be handled . These rats are sold to tourists or tranferred to Cao Bang town to sell to speciality restaurants serving customers wildlife. Many people want to buy bamboo rats because of rumors about their ability to improve male health. Large numbers of these rats have been traded over a long time period. If protection activities are not implemented promptly, bamboo rats certainly face extinction.
Ho Chi Minh City: Seven hawksbill sea turtles transferred
On December 5, the Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Center received seven hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) from Ho Chi Minh Fisheries Quality Assurance and Aquatic Resources Protection Department. The turtles were confiscated on their way to Ho Chi Minh City, where they were destined to be eaten. All the turtles are said to have been in good condition and are being taken care of by rescue officers until they are released into the environment.
According to Decision 82/2008/QD- BNN, hawksbill sea turtles belong to the group of rare aquatic species in need of protection, rehabilitation and development.
Six Chinese charged for catching turtles in the Philippines
On December 2, authorities of the Philippines discovered a batch of giant green sea turtles after intercepting the speedboat of Chinese fishermen in the waters off the western province of Palawan. Nine of the turtles were already dead, but three were alive and released back into the waters after being tagged.
Six Chinese fishermen accused of poaching endangered green sea turtles were charged in a Philippine court on December 5, as part of efforts to protect threatened wildlife along the country’s coastline. If found guilty of all charges, the fishermen could face up to 24 years in prison. Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are often caught for food and for use in traditional medicine. They are endangered because of overharvesting of both eggs and adults.
The Southern provinces: Wild animal protection programs
From 11 to 27 December, ENV will organize a number of activities to raise awareness about protecting wildlife in several provinces in the South of Vietnam. The programs will be conducted in Lam Dong, Dong Nai and Binh Duong. The activities in each province include: a wildlife protection exhibition, a bear exhibition, wildlife protection seminars at universities, volunteer recruitment, a survey on the status of wildlife crime in these provinces, and investigation and monitoring activities.
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)