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Update Palawan Waldschildkröte

Update zur Situation der Palawan Waldschildkröte auf den Philippinen



Andrew Walde bedankt sich für die bisherige Unterstützung, weist aber ebenso darauf hin, dass es auch weiterhin viel zu tun gibt.

Dear Friends,

First and foremost we want to say thank-you to all of you for your support during the past three weeks.  It has been an incredibly trying time and without everyone's support (financial, personnel, supplies, and well wishes) this entire event could have turned into a catastrophic event quickly.  We cannot stress how much we appreciated the outpouring of support.  While we are in no way "done" with the crisis, some semblance of control has been established.  We, as a community, cannot ignore that this could happen again, and will need to start planning to be proactive against it.

It is has been just three short weeks since the initial confiscation happened.  It is hard to imagine that it has only been three weeks, so much has happened, so much has been accomplished!  

Where to start?  We received immediate veterinary support (Vets, Vet-techs, and keepers) from several organizations.  In addition, we recruited about 30 local students to assist as we desperately needed extra hands.  Everyone went to work immediately processing turtles and separating out the healthy from the ill.  It became clear on day one that many animals were actually in better health than we had initially feared, and would therefore be candidates for immediate release.  From that point forward, priority number one was identify and separate those animals for release from those that would need treatment. 

While there were inevitably some losses due to health conditions, we are pleased to report that we have released approximately 80% of the animals back into their native habitat in northern Palawan, with more animals being released this week.  We will begin to conduct follow up surveys to assess their survival shortly; all animals were marked for future identification so will be readily distinguishable from "wild" animals.  We still have a little less than 300 animals that are going to require long-term treatments and care, primarily for severe shell rot and eye infections.  However, <300 is a much more manageable number than almost 4,000 and we feel like the situation is now under control.  Several people have recently asked if need any supplies, for now the answer is no.  Thanks for offering, but right now we have the necessary supplies.  However, we have no idea how long we will need to care for these remaining animals, so some supplies may be needed in the future.

We have moved the animals from Puerto Princessa to the Katala Foundation facility in Narra.  Prior to their transport we set up new ponds for the animals.  We are settling in and currently have three Vet-techs helping us, some Filipino keepers, as well as the regular Katala staff.  We are expecting additional Vets and Vet-techs to rotate in as our current ones prepare to leave so we can maintain the highest level of veterinary care.  By mid-next week we will be re-assessing our needs moving forward for additional qualified volunteers to help with the veterinary care.  We will let everyone know if we need additional help.

There is still lots to do, and the politics and protection moving forward are going to be a huge undertaking.  For now, we are happy to have such wonderful friends who rallied around us during this crisis.  We cannot thank you enough for the support and encouragement.

We have attached a couple of pics of the new temporary ponds set up at Katala Foundation as well as some pics of the team processing turtles.


On behalf of the team in Palawan


Andrew Walde
Co-chair Program Committee


Transforming Passion for Turtles into Conservation Action

Fotos © Dr. Sabine Schoppe/Katala Foundation

Update Palawan Waldschildkröte