Conserving Hoan Kiem turtle in Viet Nam

WCS Viet Nam collaborates with government partners, international organizations and local people to carry out conservation activities for the Hoan Kiem turtle (Rafetus Swinhoei) including designing and testing the genetic diagnosis of Hoan Kiem turtle in the environment; conducting animal capture, health and sex examination, and transmitter placement; surveying natural lakes to find additional Hoan Kiem turtles in order to restore the population of this species.


Key achievements

  • Collaborated with the Vietnam National University, Hanoi - Central Institute for Natural Resources (VNU-CRES) and the Asian Turtle Program (ATP) of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC) to test environmental genetic diagnostic kit designed and improved by WCS to identify genes of Hoan Kiem turtle in the wild. In 2020, more than 200 environmental samples have been collected and analyzed to verify the sensitivity of the diagnostic kits;
  • Coordinated with Hanoi Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and IMC/ATP to successfully capture, check health, sex and attach a microchip for the Hoan Kiem turtle individual at Dong Mo lake, Son Tay, Ha Noi in October 2020;
  • Continued to search and identify Hoan Kiem Turtle in other potential areas in Ha Noi and other provinces and cities in the North and Central region of Viet Nam. In 2020, WCS also discovered and took pictures of two other large softshell turtles at Dong Mo Lake, Son Tay, Ha Noi. WCS will work with other authorities and NGOs to capture and collect samples to identify the species and sex of these two individuals in 2021.

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