Time filter

Source Type

Hlaing Township, Myanmar

Platt K.,Turtle Survival Alliance | Platt S.G.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Rainwater T.R.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Chelonian Conservation and Biology | Year: 2014

We report the first specimen-based records of Heosemys spinosa (Gray 1830) from Myanmar, validating earlier assumptions of its occurrence within the country. Our records consist of 5 living H. spinosa examined at Kan Baw Gyi Village in Tanintharyi Region of southern Myanmar. These specimens originated from seasonally inundated lowland riparian wetlands near the village where we examined them. Potential threats to H. spinosa in southern Myanmar include subsistence and commercial harvesting and, most importantly, the widespread conversion of natural forests to oil palm plantations. © 2014 Chelonian Research Foundation.

Rainwater T.R.,Medical University of South Carolina | Rainwater T.R.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Pop T.,Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education BFREE | Cal O.,YaAxche Conservation Trust | And 3 more authors.
Chelonian Conservation and Biology | Year: 2012

The Central American river turtle (Dermatemys mawii) is a large Critically Endangered freshwater turtle historically found in the coastal lowlands of southern Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize. Due to years of intense harvesting for its meat, D. mawii has been virtually eliminated from much of its former range in southern Mexico, while its status in Guatemala remains unclear. During April and May 2010, we conducted a countrywide survey in Belize to assess the current conservation status of D. mawii in what is believed to be its last stronghold. We surveyed approximately 30 localities from deep southern to extreme northern Belize, including 17 areas previously surveyed during the early 1980s and 1990s. Results indicate D. mawii is heavily depleted in most of Belize, but healthy populations remain in a few remote areas (including multiple, previously unsurveyed localities in southern Belize), especially those receiving some level of protection. While this mirrors the trend observed in previous surveys, the current findings are of particular concern because the number of localities where turtles were observed and the number of turtles observed at these localities were both much reduced compared to earlier surveys. Large turtles (reproductive adults) continue to be targeted during harvests, significantly reducing the most demographically important segment of the population. Further, interviews with fishermen and hunters indicate that laws and regulations enacted for the protection of D. mawii are largely ignored by locals, as broad-scale enforcement is difficult or impossible to achieve. In this paper, we discuss survey results in the context of previous investigations, describe levels and sources of exploitation, and provide conservation recommendations. © 2012 Chelonian Research Foundation.

Mali I.,Texas State University | Vandewege M.W.,Mississippi State University | Davis S.K.,Turtle Survival Alliance | Forstner M.R.J.,Texas State University
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Unregulated commercial harvest remains a major threat for turtles across the globe. Due to continuing demand from Asian markets, a significant number of turtles are exported from the United States of America (US). Beginning in 2007, several southeastern states in the US implemented restrictions on the commercial harvest of turtles, in order to address the unsustainable take. We have summarized freshwater turtle exports from the US between 2002 and 2012 and demonstrated that the magnitude of turtle exports from the US remained high although the exports decreased throughout the decade. Louisiana and California were the major exporters. The majority of exports were captive bred, and from two genera, Pseudemys and Trachemys. We review the changes over the decade and speculate that the increase in export of wild turtles out of Louisiana after 2007 could be a consequence of strict regulations in surrounding states (e.g., Alabama, Florida). We suggest that if wild turtle protection is a goal for conservation efforts, then these states should work together to develop comprehensive regulation reforms pertaining to the harvest of wild turtles. © 2014 Mali et al.

Jenkins R.K.B.,Global Species Programme | Tognelli M.F.,IUCN CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit | Bowles P.,IUCN CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit | Cox N.,IUCN CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit | And 38 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Background: An understanding of the conservation status of Madagascar's endemic reptile species is needed to underpin conservation planning and priority setting in this global biodiversity hotspot, and to complement existing information on the island's mammals, birds and amphibians. We report here on the first systematic assessment of the extinction risk of endemic and native non-marine Malagasy snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises. Methodology/ Principal Findings: Species range maps from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species were analysed to determine patterns in the distribution of threatened reptile species. These data, in addition to information on threats, were used to identify priority areas and actions for conservation. Thirty-nine percent of the data-sufficient Malagasy reptiles in our analyses are threatened with extinction. Areas in the north, west and south-east were identified as having more threatened species than expected and are therefore conservation priorities. Habitat degradation caused by wood harvesting and non-timber crops was the most pervasive threat. The direct removal of reptiles for international trade and human consumption threatened relatively few species, but were the primary threats for tortoises. Nine threatened reptile species are endemic to recently created protected areas. Conclusions/Significance: With a few alarming exceptions, the threatened endemic reptiles of Madagascar occur within the national network of protected areas, including some taxa that are only found in new protected areas. Threats to these species, however, operate inside and outside protected area boundaries. This analysis has identified priority sites for reptile conservation and completes the conservation assessment of terrestrial vertebrates in Madagascar which will facilitate conservation planning, monitoring and wise-decision making. In sharp contrast with the amphibians, there is significant reptile diversity and regional endemism in the southern and western regions of Madagascar and this study highlights the importance of these arid regions to conserving the island's biodiversity. © 2014 Jenkins et al.

Platt S.G.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Platt K.,Turtle Survival Alliance | Naing T.Z.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Ko W.K.,Wildlife Conservation Society | And 5 more authors.
Ethnobiology Letters | Year: 2012

Birdlimes are adhesive entangling compounds that passively capture birds by binding them to a substrate and rendering flight feathers useless. We investigated birdlime use among indigenous Chin hunters during a wildlife survey of Natma Taung National Park (NTNP) in western Myanmar (May-June 2011). We found that birdlime is prepared from the sap of various banyan trees (Ficus spp.) collected during the annual dry season (December-May). Birdlime is prepared by boiling sap to remove water, and the finished product is a readily malleable and extremely adhesive compound known locally as nghet phan te kaw ("bird glue"). Hunters employ four principal strategies when using birdlime: 1) limed sticks are placed at waterholes and springs; 2) limed sticks are placed in fruiting trees or nocturnal roost sites; 3) limed sticks are positioned at prominent vantage points and hunters mimic vocalizations to atiract birds; 4) small insects (possibly termites) are affixed to a limed pole and serve as bait to atiract birds. Large numbers (200) of birds can reportedly be captured during a single day by hunters using birdlime. At least 186 (63.9%) of 291 species of birds occurring in Natma Taung National Park are thought to be vulnerable to this nontiselective hunting strategy. The endangered white-browed nuthatch (Si-a victoriae Rippon Sitidae), a poorlytistudied endemic species restricted to high elevation Oak-Rhododendron forest in NTNP, is vulnerable to birdliming, although the impact of hunting on populations remains unclear. We recommend that future investigations determine the sustainability of the Chin bird harvest by relating hunter off-take to recruitment and survivorship of nuthatches. If conservation action is deemed prudent, management plans should be developed in close collaboration with local Chin communities. © 2012 Society of Ethnobiology.

Discover hidden collaborations