Palawan Turtle Crisis

Turtle Crisis

Introduction

 Members of the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians and other related exotic animal medicine and conservation organizations received an email about the Palawan turtle crisis from the Turtle Conservancy in June 2015:

Our message today is so urgent, and so important to the continued survival of a critically endangered species, that we are jointly requesting your help alongside our friends and colleagues at the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG), and the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF).

Yesterday, authorities in Palawan confiscated over 4,000 turtles just before they were to be shipped out from their native island in the Philippines. More than 3,800 of them were endemic Philippine Forest Turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis), a species that exists only in a very small area in the northern end of Palawan. This number exceeds our current understanding of the existing wild population, and it would take decades for this slow-growing species to possibly recover from the effects of this massive, highly coordinated poaching event. Our concern is that the species may never recover from these staggering losses unless immediate action is taken.

Although supplies are not currently needed, financial contributions are still needed for this conservation effort. To learn more visit the Turtle Survival Alliance and Turtle Conservancy. These worthy organizations are entirely separate with independent funding.