Recent poaching activities in Madagascar have drawn worldwide attention to the already grave plight of Ploughshare Tortoises, which is now at a breaking point.
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In June of this year, more than 3,800 Critically Endangered Palawan Forest Turtles were confiscated by authorities on Palawan Island in the Philippines. Within 36 hours, the TC’s Dr. Paul Gibbons and many other organizations and individuals from around the world flew there to help rehabilitate these turtles and return them to the wild. The TC’s James Liu went undercover there to get to the bottom of this global crisis and to capture it all on film. This TC film production, directed by James Liu, captures events at the crisis center, and records on hidden camera his visit the restaurant where the Philippine Forest Turtle was first rediscovered in 2001. James also managed to track down and interview one of the poachers of the confiscated turtles. What might have become a terrible tragedy turned into an amazing success story, due to the collaboration between organizations and individuals to save these turtles. We could not have done this important work without the incredibly generous support of donations from so many – thank you!
A week ago we were alerted to the hearbreaking news that over 4,000 endangered turtles were confiscated from a well-organized syndicate of poachers in the Philippines, destined for the illegal food and pet trade markets in East Asia. Of these 4,000 animals, nearly 3,800 were Philippine Forest Turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis), a Critically Endangered species that is endemic to the Island of Palawan.
Authorities in Palawan confiscated over 4,000 turtles just before they were to be shipped out from their native island in the Philippines. More than 3,800 of them were endemic Philippine Forest Turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis), a species that exists only in a very small area in the northern end of Palawan.
Just before the Holidays, Turtle Conservancy’s Managing Director and veterinarian, Dr. Paul Gibbons, returned to Bangkok, Thailand together with representatives from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Richard Lewis and Tsanta Fiderana Rakotonanahary from Madagascar. The purpose of this visit was to teach a seminar on managing the health and husbandry of large groups of confiscated turtles and tortoises, and to monitor the status of the confiscated Ploughshare Tortoises that we assisted with in May 2013.