Turtles in Temple Ponds in Thailand: Species, Abundance, and Health Issues

in Society & Animals
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

Abstract

The traditional practice of releasing turtles into temple ponds in Thailand, believed to benefit releasers, likely affects turtles’ welfare and impacts wild populations. We examined the species, abundance, and health of turtles in six temple ponds. Seven native turtle species and two exotic species were recorded. Most common were the yellow-headed temple turtle (Heosemys annandalii), a legally protected species, and the exotic red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). Almost all examined turtles showed signs of illness, the most common being shell lesions and excessive algal growth on shells. Poor sanitation and food quality, and limited space to bask, observed in all ponds, contributed to turtles’ poor health. We recommend using better-managed temple ponds as temporary rehabilitation centers and returning healthy native turtles to natural areas, while encouraging people to provide funds to support the turtles and discouraging the release of new turtles.

Sections
References
  • Aleksić-KovačevićS.ÖzvegymJ.KrstićN.RusvaiM.JakabC.StanimirovićZ. & BecskeiZ. (2014). Skin and skeletal system lesions of European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) from natural habitats. Acta Veterinaria Hungarica62180-193.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BartenS. L. (2006). Section VII: Specific diseases and clinical conditions: Shell damage. In D. R. Mader (Ed.) Reptile Medicine and Surgery (2nd ed.) (pp. 893-899). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BodieJ. R. (2001). Stream and riparian management of freshwater turtles. Journal of Environmental Management62443455.

  • BoyerD. R. (1965). Ecology of the basking habit in turtles. Ecology4699-118.

  • BoyerT. H. (2006). Section VI: Differential diagnoses by symptoms: Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. In D. R. Mader (Ed.) Reptile Medicine and Surgery (2nd ed.) (pp. 696-704). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BoyerT. H. & BoyerD. M. (2006). Section II: Biology and husbandry: Turtles, tortoises, and terrapins. In D. R. Mader (Ed.) Reptile Medicine and Surgery (2nd ed.) (pp. 78-99). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • CheungS. M. & DudgeonD. (2006). Quantifying the Asian turtle crisis: Market surveys in southern China, 2000-2003. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems16751-770.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DasI. (2010). A Field Guide to the Reptiles of Thailand & South-east Asia. Bangkok, Thailand: Asia Books Co. Ltd.

  • Dhammathai. (2015). Buddhism in contemporary Thailand. Retrieved from http://www.dhammathai.org/e/thailand/contemperary.php.

    • Export Citation
  • DonoghueS. (2006). Section IV Medicine: Nutrition. In D. R. Mader (Ed.) Reptile Medicine and Surgery (2nd ed.) (pp. 251-298). St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fisheries Act 2490 B.E. (1947). http://www.thailaws.com/law/t_laws/tlaw0399.pdf

  • IUCN. (2014). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (version 2014.2). Retrieved from http://www.iucnredlist.org.

  • JacksonO. F. & CooperJ. E. (1981). Nutritional diseases. In J. E. Cooper & O. F. Jackson (Eds.) Diseases of the Reptilia (Vol. 2) (pp. 409-428). London, United Kingdom: Academic Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • McArthurS. & BarrowsM. (2004). Nutrition. In S. McArthurR. Wilkinson & J. Meyer (Eds.) Medicine and Surgery of Tortoises and Turtles (pp. 73-85). Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NatchevN.HeissE.LemellP.StratevD. & WeisgramJ. (2009). Analysis of prey capture and food transport kinematic in two Asian box turtles, Cuora amboinensis and Cuora flavomarginata (Chelonia, Geoemydidae), with emphasis on terrestrial feeding patterns. Zoology112113-127.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PurkayasthaJ.HassanA. M.IslamH.DasJ.SarmaM.BasumataryM.SarmaN.ChatterjeeN.SinghaS.NairV.PurkayasthaA.DuttaJ. & DasM. (2013). Turtles of the temple pond of Kamakhya, Assam, India. Reptile Rap1511-15.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rangel-MendozaJ. A.Sánchex-GonzálezI. A.López-LunaM. A. & WeberM. (2014). Health and aquatic environment assessment of captive Central American River Turtles, Dermatemys mawii, at two farms in Tabasco, Mexico. Chelonian Conservation Biology1396109.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SeveringhausL. L. & ChiL. (1999). Prayer animal release in Taiwan. Biological Conservation89301304.

  • ShuiH. & StokesL. (2008). Buddhist animal release practices: Historic, environmental, public health and economic concerns. Contemporary Buddhism9181196.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SiddallM. E. & DesserS. S. (2001). Transmission of Haemogregarina balli from painted turtles to snapping turtles through the leech Placobdella ornata. Journal of Parasitology871217-1218.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van DijkP. P. & PalasuwanT. (2000). Conservation status, trade, and management of tortoises and freshwater turtles in Thailand. Asian Turtle Trade: Proceedings of a Workshop on Conservation and Trade of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises in Asia. Chelonian Research Monographs2137-144.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Van DijkP. P.IskandarD. T.PalasuwanT.RhodinA. G. J.SamediSharma D. S. K.ShepherdC. R.TisenO. B. & GenorupaV. R. (2000). Turtle trade in Southeast Asia: Regional summary (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand). Asian Turtle Trade: Proceedings of a Workshop on Conservation and Trade of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises in Asia. Chelonian Research Monographs2145-147.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act 2535 B.E. (1992). http://thailaws.com/law/t_laws/tlaw0317.pdf.

Figures
  • View in gallery
    Description of temple pond environments
  • View in gallery
    Minimum average number of each turtle species observed in temple ponds
  • View in gallery
    The average density of turtles (white bars) in total pond area (grey bars) in the basking area (error bars represent standard deviations)
  • View in gallery
    Physical examination of three native turtles in temple ponds
  • View in gallery
    Additional health evaluation of turtles in Temple B
Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 209 209 12
Full Text Views 1 1 0
PDF Downloads 0 0 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0