15th Annual Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Field Skills Training Course 2019 in Laos

A student tries to identify some turtle species by their photographs. Photo credit: Jack Carney (ATP/IMC).

Between the 21st and 28th July 2019, ATP/IMC travelled to Laos to lead the first training course for Laotian students on turtle conservation, in conjunction with the Laos Conservation Trust for Wildlife. This course, taught by Vietnamese and English staff of ATP, gives student knowledge and experience in a range of useful field skills related to tortoise and freshwater turtle research.

We invited 9 Laotian students and early-career conservationists to join us at LCTW’s headquarters at Lao Wildlife Rescue Centre, Vientiane province, Laos. Thanks to generous support from Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and other donors, we were able to offer free funding to each student!

Students received a range of lectures on topics such as: turtle ecology and evolution, the Asian Turtle Crisis, research methods and report writing, turtle conservation in Laos, and the role of research in conservation. These taught elements were combined with practical sessions including: identifying Lao’s turtle species, compass and GPS use, aquatic turtle trapping, forest surveys, and completing field records.

ATP is very excited about the prospect of working more closely with conservationists and researchers in Laos and events like this are a perfect way of collaborating and networking! We have made many new friends as a result of our visit to Laos and will certainly keep in contact with everybody and hope to work with them again in the near future!

It takes a lot of time and money to organise and run this course every year, and even more so in a new country with a new language! We would like to thank all of the ATP staff, LCTW staff, Laotian students and everyone else who helped successfully deliver this course! In particular, we want to give more thanks to our generous donors and supporters who allow us to make these events happen every year!

If you want to learn more about this course or ATP/IMC, please visit www.asianturtleprogram.org. If you want to support us, you can by visiting our support page (http://www.asianturtleprogram.org/pages/support_atp.html) or contact support@asianturtleprogram.org. Thank you!

1st August 2019
Press release by: Jack Carney – ATP/IMC

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