Van T. Pham, Turtle Sanctuary Conservation Center (France); Save Vietnam's Wildlife (Vietnam); e-mail:
Olivier Le Duc, Turtle Sanctuary Conservation Center (France); Associated Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Community (France); e-mail:
Benjamin Leprince, Turtle Sanctuary Conservation Center (France); e-mail:
Cedric Bordes, Turtle Sanctuary Conservation Center (France); Associated Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Community (France); e-mail:
Charlotte Ducotterd, Turtle Sanctuary Conservation Center (France); Centre Emys, Protection et Récupération des Tortues (Switzerland); e-mail:
Vinh Q. Luu, Vietnam National University of Forestry (Vietnam); e-mail:
Le T. An, Center for Nature Conservation and Development (Vietnam); e-mail:
Manh H. Nguyen, Center for Nature Conservation and Development (Vietnam); e-mail:
Van O. Lo, Center for Nature Conservation and Development (Vietnam); e-mail:
Van N. Ha, Save Vietnam's Wildlife (Vietnam); e-mail:
Quang B. Tran, Vietnam Administration of Forestry (Vietnam); e-mail:
Luca Luiselli, PhD, Institute for Development, Ecology, Conservation and Cooperation (Italy); Rivers State University of Science and Technology (Nigeria); Université de Lomé (Togo); iD ORCID:; e-mail:

Reference to article

Pham V.T., Le Duc O., Leprince B., Bordes C., Ducotterd C., Luu V.Q., An L.T., Nguyen M.H., Lo V.O., Ha V.N., Tran Q.B., Luiselli L. 2023. An assessment of turtle communities in Bach Ma National Park, Vietnam. Nature Conservation Research 8(2): 72–80.

Electronic Supplement 1. Summary of turtle records made during the interview and field survey and their measurements in Bach Ma National Park, Vietnam (Link).
Electronic Supplement 2. Some turtle individuals observed in surveyed villages around and within the Bach Ma National Park, Vietnam (Link).

Section Research articles

Most of the extraordinary biodiversity richness of South-East Asian countries is concentrated in the national parks and other Protected Areas, with species-rich turtle communities surviving mostly in these reserves where their natural habitats are better preserved. However, very few studies have documented the turtle species richness of the various Protected Areas in Vietnam, which is not only one of the hotspots of chelonian diversity in the world but also one of the countries where their exploitation is the highest. Here, the diversity of turtles is studied in the Bach Ma National Park in central Vietnam, mainly characterised by forested hills and mountains, with ponds and streams of various shapes and structures. The study was carried out by conducting (i) semi-structured interviews of hunters recruited through a snow-ball procedure in local villages, (ii) inspection of turtle individuals in their hands, (iii) field surveys along random transects inspecting the various microhabitats used by these reptiles. We observed a total of 15 species, out of which 14 (93.3%) are threatened, based on IUCN Red List. A natural hybrid of Cuora bourreti × C. mouhotii obsti (Cuora «serrata») was observed. Three species (Cuora bourreti, Manouria impressa, Platysternon megacephalum) were the most frequently encountered species according to our interviewees. We conclude that, in order to enhance the conservation status of the turtle communities at the local level, it would be important (i) to increase the number of rangers patrolling the study area in the rainy season (from April to September) and (ii) to list the hunter's names in the villages surrounding the Bach Ma National Park and to convince them to sign an agreement with the local authorities to avoid hunting turtles within the Protected Area.


Chelonia, conservation, diversity, mountain forest, Protected Area, South-East Asia

Artice information

Received: 18.11.2022. Revised: 02.03.2023. Accepted: 03.03.2023.

The full text of the article

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