February, 17 2014 08:15:32

Phu Yen farm protects rare regional turtle from extinction

The Bourret's box turtle(Cuora bourreti) is a turtle subspecies found in central Viet Nam and adjacent Laos and commonly called the central Vietnamese flowerback box turtle. Central Phu Yen Province is boosting preservation of the rare turtles. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Ha

PHU YEN (VNS) — A man in Phu Yen Province has successfully developing a farm raising a rare and endangered species of turtle of the central region, helping to protect them from extinction.

The forest ranger department of the central province of Phu Yen is considering to grant certification for raising an endangered turtle species.

The total number of turtles on the farm of Pham Ngoc Hoang, in the province's Song Hinh District, has increased to 190, including 30 mother turtles with an average weight of 1.3-2kg each. His farming started in 2000 with the first six turtles.

"The wildlife species of the central region is a rare and endangered species," Hoang said.

"The number of this species in nature is now rare and its price in market is up to hundred millions dong. The price for males are four times higher than females', at around VND400 million (US$18,800) a kilo," he added.

The farming is expected to help protect the turtles from extinction by keeping the turtles for breeding purposes and sharing farming experience with others to help more people get involved in the preservation of this species, he said.

Hoang has proposed the provincial department of forest management to grant license to help him legalise the turtle farming to help better protect them.

The species are receiving much attention from the international community for its endemicity. It has a narrow and limited distribution area. The turtles are only found in underflooded zones in central provinces stretching from Da Nang to Phu Yen.

Scientists said that the species were on the edge of extinction due to the narrow habitat. Other reasons behind the risk of extinction are the transform of underflooded areas to cultivated land, or rising pollution in the urbanisation process. — VNS

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