Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lone Vietnamese turtle may be last of its kind


After surviving for thousands of years in the lakes of Southeast Asia, the East Asian giant softshell turtle may finally be faced with extinction, as the last member of the species lingers on in Vietnam’s Hoan Kiem Lake. Reptile specialists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society recently observed the reptile in its last known habitat and fear it may live out its final years without a mate.

"This individual could very well be the last of its kind," said John Behler, Curator of Herpetology at the Bronx Zoo, who confirmed that the turtle still exists in Hoan Kiem Lake. "We know next to nothing about this species or its habitat requirements, other than the fact that it is extremely rare and is presumably on the brink of extinction."

Freshwater turtles and tortoises across Asia have become increasingly endangered by a wide variety of threats, such as collection for local consumption, and collection for regional and international food and the pet trade. Of the approximately 90 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises that occur in South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia and New Guinea, more than a third are listed in the World Conservation Union’s 1996 Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered. Asian turtles did receive some good news in 2001, when China, a main market for the growing trade in turtles for both food and medicine, restricted the importation of all turtles and tortoises from Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia.

As for the East Asian giant softshell turtle, other individuals may still exist in the Red River floodplain, but the only recent sighting is the five-foot-long turtle that was spotted by Behler, WCS Asian Turtle Conservation coordinator Doug Hendrie, and WCS veterinarian Paul Calle near Ngoc Son Temple Island on the north end of Hoan Kiem Lake. "No one knows how long this turtle has lived in this lake, or where it came from," added Behler. "Hopefully, it’s not the last, and perhaps other individuals can be found to study and, if possible, save."

WCS works to save turtles and tortoises both within Asia and around the world, through research on the ecological needs of different species and by working with governments to limit trade. Scientists working in the WCS Marine Program are working to protect marine turtles as well, specifically along the coast of Nicaragua and in the wider Caribbean, and along the coast of Gabon in Central Africa.

Stephen Sautner 718-220-3682
John Delaney 718-220-3275

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>