The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 06. Observations of threatened Asian box turtles (Cuora spp.) on trade in Vietnam


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pp. 173-178

Authors: Thong Pham Van, Benjamin Leprince, Hong Luong Xuan, Quyen Nguyen Thu, Olivier Le Duc, Cedric Bordes, Manh Vuong Tien & Luca Luiselli

Abstract: Asian box turtles (genus Cuora; Geoemydidae) are among the most threatened Asian turtles. Here, we present (i) a field investigation from 2014-2018 on the Cuora individuals traded by high-level traders in six provinces of Vietnam and (ii) the estimated numbers of traded individuals determined through interviews with traders. In addition, we (iii) provide an analysis of the confiscated individuals that were carried out at the main wildlife rescue centre of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Overall, the number of traded individuals observed was relatively small (n = 481), with C. bourreti being by far the most frequently observed in trade. During the same period, the interviewed traders estimated that about 3,400 individuals were traded through the period 2014-2018, most of them being C. bourreti. During 2010-2018, a total of 281 individuals were carried to the wildlife rescue centre, with over 60 % of the total rescued individuals being C. galbinifrons. Overall, the numbers of traded Cuora individuals recorded in the present study were very small compared to the huge estimates from other Asian countries. However, this lower traded number does not imply that the status’ of the target species are not affected, as their population sizes are already catastrophically reduced in Vietnam.

Keywords: turtle trade, Vietnam, interviews, field surveys


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