Friday, 10/12/2021 13:56

Chàm Islands return two tortoises to nature

An elongated tortoise  –  species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – has a health check at the Chàm Island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board. Photo courtesy of MPA 

CHÀM ISLANDS  — Two tortoises, one identified as a critically endangered species, have been returned to the sea off the Chàm Islands after being rescued by local people and the Chàm Island’s Marine Protected Area (MPA) management board.

Huỳnh Thùy Hương, a member of the MPA, confirmed to Việt Nam News that the two tortoises (one was an elongated tortoise - Indotestudo Elongata) – a species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – were found by local people in Tân An and Cẩm Thanh communes on Tuesday.

Local residents informed the MPA for a health check for the animal before leaving it to nature, Hương said.

She said the endangered tortoise, which weighed 1.7kg with a 30cm shell size, and the other could return to the local forest a few hours after the health check by the MPA on Wednesday.

It’s the third tortoise that was rescued by MPA and local residents, while four other sea turtles had been returned to nature in 2021.

Earlier, the MPA received two pythons and three pangolins donated by local people for release.

A rescued tortoise returns to the forest of Chàm Islands, off the coast of Hội An City. The tortoise was the third that local people in Hội An and Chàm Islands found and rescued in 2021. Photo courtesy of MPA 

A report from MPA unveiled 37 turtles and tortoises had been found at the sea off Chàm Islands, a buffer zone of the Chàm Islands-Hội An world biosphere reserve, and Thăng Bình District in central Quảng Nam Province between 2016-20. However, it said only 10 were alive, while 27 others were found dead.

MPA and members from SaSa Marine animal rescue team have been identifying a dead sea turtle that was found on the beach of An Bàng on Monday. Its front limbs were trapped by a fishing net and it died before local fishermen found it on the beach.

Chàm Islands-Hội An (including the total area of the Islands’ land and water and Hội An) was recognised as a World Biosphere Reserve in 2009 and covers 1,500ha of tropical forests and 6,700ha of ocean. It is home to a population of sea turtles and tortoises.

A wide range of marine fauna and flora, including many endangered species such as salangane swallows, long-tailed monkeys and the crab-eating macaque live in the area. — VNS

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