Giant tortoises mate on Valentine’s Day

This video is about two Aldabra giant tortoises in Artis zoo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, mating on Valentine’s Day. The male weighs 180 kilogram.

14 February 2011.

Turtle gatecrashes Valentine’s Day underwater wedding – video here.

Valentine’s Day at the Zoo: Slide Show: here.

Take a walk through your backyard or a backcountry hike and you’ll likely be confronted by a courtship ritual of some sort. For the animals engaged in such displays, though, the whole month of February, not just Valentine’s Day, is meant for romance: here.

Thousands of endangered marine turtles could be saved in the Coral Triangle region if the fishing industry started using innovative and responsible fishing gear, a WWF analysis shows: here.

A new report published by a consortium of wildlife preservation groups makes for grim reading. There’s no soft-pedaling about the warning: “Turtles are much more at risk of impending extinction than birds, mammals, amphibians, or sharks and rays”: here.

Trinidad and Tobago set to impose turtle-hunting ban: here.

In a struggle to save a rare, giant turtle that is considered a sacred symbol of Vietnam, hundreds of Vietnamese are working together to clean up a lake in Hanoi, the country’s capital: here.

‘Fishing, trawler lights at Morjim keep turtles at bay’ – Times of India: here.

All this plastic was found in one sea turtle’s belly: here.

The 25 Most Endangered Turtles in the World: here.

March 2011: Live turtles are still being sold in Tesco stores in China – much to the outrage of conservationists. The store has been marketing the turtles since its first store opened in the country in 2007 – but Care for the Wild International (CWI) is furious the practice is continuing. It [is] using the retirement of Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy to once more bring the fact to public attention: here.

100 star tortoises seized in Malaysia: here.

Sea Turtle Deaths Anger Mississippi Residents – Huffington Post (blog): here.

9 thoughts on “Giant tortoises mate on Valentine’s Day

  1. Administrator on March 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm said:

    Local forest turtle getting extinct


    March 28, 2011, 3:46pm

    MANILA, Philippines — No wonder Pong Pagong is rarely seen these days.

    The Philippine Forest Turtle (Siebenrockiella leytensis), commonly found in Palawan, is now among the 25 endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles in the world, with an extremely high risk of getting extinct, international experts said.

    A new report from the Turtle Conservation Coalition, a global alliance of conservation groups, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) has named the world’s 25 most endangered tortoises and freshwater turtles, which includes the Philippine Forest Turtle.

    This is the third Top 25 listing of most endangered species of tortoises and freshwater turtles, which is in addition to the earlier listed species that are also at very high risk of extinction, according to Turtle Conservation Coalition.

    As cited in the 58-page report, the Philippine Forest Turtle’s habitat is being threatened by slash-and-bur n farming practices, logging, agricultural encroachment, and associated habitat degradation, among others.

    “Yet, the biggest threat to the Philippine Forest Turtle is its perceived rarity. The demand in the international pet trade surged when it was rediscovered,” it said.

    “Sadly, it continues to be illegally exported from the Philippines in significant numbers, although the species is protected both locally under Philippine law, and its trade regulated internationally by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species),” it added.

    However, the illegal trade of endangered forest turtles remains rampant with the series of confiscations locally and internationally.

    “Additionally, evidence suggests that some populations of this species have declined in the recent past and that no adults larger than 30 centimeter in carapace length and no hatchlings can be found in some localities,” the report pointed out.

    Scientists used to believe that the turtle thrives in Leyte where it was first discovered, however recent studies pointed out that the turtle may be found in Palawan.

    “Today, all evidence suggests that the original description of this species (Siebenrockiella leytensis) as occurring in Leyte was erroneous, although it is possible that early traders had transported some to Leyte and sold them in the market where they were first discovered,” it pointed out.

    Very little is known about the Philippine Forest Turtle, aside from it inhabits in creeks and small rivers with full canopy and is “crepuscular or nocturnal, hiding during the day under the rocks or in deep earthen burrows or natural limestone caves.”

    The Turtle Conservation Coalition expressed alarm that even before the species can be studied further, it may become extinct, if it would not be protected.

    “Effective conservation actions for this species will require greater knowledge of the species’ natural history,” it said.

    It also cited the importance of “community-based conservation programs need to be continued to provide effective long-term in-situ protection of the remaining population and their habitats.”

    In addition, the report highlighted that turtles in Asia have greatly suffered from decades of illegal and unsustainable trade, with 17 of the 25 most endangered turtles being found in Asia.

    It noted that without turtles and tortoises the ecosystem and critically-important services to mankind and people’s livelihoods would gradually suffer from the loss of biodiversity.


  2. Administrator on April 3, 2011 at 5:34 pm said:

    Rescuers finally net Vietnam’s legendary turtle

    By Marianne Brown Apr 3, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    A giant turtle which is considered a sacred symbol of Vietnam surfaces at Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi, 08 March 2011. Hundreds people including tourists gathered around the lake to watch rescuers trying to capture the giant turtle for medical treatment. Residents believe the giant turtle brings luck because it is said that a giant turtle lent King Le Loi a magical sword, with which he was able to defeat the Chinese invaders in 1427. EPA/LUONG THAI LINH

    Hanoi – Hundreds of bystanders gathered around a lake in Hanoi erupted into shouts and cheers as a rescue team finally managed to net Vietnam’s most famous turtle.

    Crowds of people stood around Hoan Kiem lake from the early hours on Sunday in hot and sticky temperatures to watch a dedicated team try to save the animal after lacerations were spotted on its neck.

    The long wait for action came to an end late in the afternoon when 50 rescuers who were herding the 300-kilogram turtle with rowing boats and a large net finally closed in.

    Some of the 50-strong team jumped out into the water and led the creature into a cage. Two boats then took it to a small island where its health is to be evaluated.

    This was the second attempt to rescue the turtle. The first met spectacular failure last month when the creature broke through two nets and made a dash for freedom.

    After that, plans for further rescue missions were kept very low key, with soldiers posted around the lake insisting that it Sunday’s effort was only a practice run.

    The lacerations seen on the animal have been blamed on fishing hooks and bites from aggressive red-ear turtles that have been released into the water by locals tired of keeping the animals as pets.

    The lake in the centre of the city is also badly polluted.

    Kiem, a 23-year-old student, was watching Sunday’s action.

    ‘I’m from Saigon but even there we know about the Hoan Kiem turtle,’ she said. ‘We are very happy to see the turtle, it’s a once in a lifetime experience.’

    Businessman Chung Hai Linh, 41, shared her enthusiasm.

    ‘Many Vietnamese people believe it is lucky to see the turtle and today is the first day of the lunar month so we feel blessed,’ he said.

    The turtle’s legendary status dates back to 15th-century Emperor Ly Tai To, who is said to have defeated invading Chinese forces with a magical sword given to him by the gods. The following day, the reptile returned the sword to heaven, according to the myth.

    Ho Hoan Kiem means Lake of the Restored Sword.

    The turtle is estimated to be about 100 years old. It is believed to be one of only four of the Rafetus swinhoei species alive today.



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