Project

Chakar Hutan

PULIHARA at Chakar Hutan Beach, Kerteh

Project Overview

In the ethereal expanse of Pantai Chakar Hutan, where the whispers of the ocean meet the gentle rustle of casuarina trees, lies a sanctuary revered by both land and sea. Here, amidst the tranquil embrace of nature, a timeless ritual unfolds: the annual nesting of the majestic green sea turtles. With an unwavering commitment to conservation, in 2022, PULIHARA collaborated with the Terengganu Department of Fisheries to safeguard the eggs and monitor the nesting female population at Chakar Hutan.

Chakar Hutan holds a special place in the hearts of the local community as a cherished spot for recreational activities. Going beyond the scope of sea turtle conservation, the project advocated for ‘EduTourism’, seeking to enhance awareness through community involvement in conservation and tourism initiatives. In tandem, it nurtures the community’s livelihoods by creating job opportunities and bolstering income streams.

Project Details

Night Patrol

Pantai Chakar Hutan, a turtle reserve, has up to 500 green turtle nests per year. Throughout the nesting season, from dusk to dawn, we patrol the 1.4-km shoreline in search of nesting mothers together with the rangers. relocate all the nests to the hatchery. We also collect biometric data and facial photographs of the nesting females.

To safeguard green sea turtle eggs and monitor the nesting female population, nightly beach patrols were conducted in tandem with rangers throughout the nesting season. Additionally, authorised egg collectors facilitated the transportation of green sea turtle and painted terrapin eggs to the hatchery.

Close up photograph of hatched sea turtle eggs

Research

Conservation research is essential to help inform science-based management of the endangered species and their habitats. Our conservation strategies are informed by empirical research. This includes measuring the nest temperatures during the incubation period so measures can be taken to ensure that our hatchery produces a balanced sex ratio of hatchlings. We also study the change of Chakar Hutan nesting beach profile to assess the impact of climate change on nesting beaches. We welcome those who are passionate in gaining field experience in sea turtle monitoring to join our internship programme.

Photograph of sea turtle nests, organized in a grid

Nests Saved

The hatchery in Chakar Hutan not only has nests from the beach itself, but it also incubates nests bought from licensed egg collectors in the South of mainland Terengganu. Since July 2022, we have saved 647 nests from the beach alongside the Department of Fisheries rangers.

Hatchling Release

During the hatching season, we release the hatchlings immediately upon emergence from dusk to dawn. Meanwhile, if the hatchlings emerge during the day, we will release them at 6.30 p.m. We have released more than 55,000 turtle hatchlings into the ocean since 2022. On special occasions and events, we are sometimes joined by members of the public before dark.

Turtle Talks at the Hatchery

Equally important to saving turtles is raising conservation awareness among the local community. The hatchery is open for the public to visit upon request from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Our team is based at the hatchery during the day, not just to safeguard the nests, but also to share knowledge about turtle conservation with visitors. The public can also participate in our post-emergence inspections where we excavate the nest, not only to determine the hatching and emergence success, but to also save any stragglers that might have not crawled out of the nest on their own.

We also visited local schools and participated in exhibitions in order to spread awareness about our work and promote turtle conservation among the members of the community.

Beach Cleanup

Marine debris that washes up on the beach could prevent female turtles from laying their eggs. Not only that, it also poses a hazard to hatchlings as they make their way to the ocean. Interestingly, fungi are also known to inhabit plastic and their presence on nesting beaches could potentially lead to fungi infection in the nests. So, we regularly clean up the beach to keep it free of marine debris, which then has a positive impact on the turtles.

Project Location

How you can make a difference

As a non-profit marine conservation project, we are always on the lookout for funds to support the cost of operating our project sites throughout the year. These would include salaries, food, transportation, purchase or rental of tools & equipment, administrative costs and so on.

Your donation helps us to fuel the tide of conservation efforts, ensuring our majestic sea turtles thrive for generations to come.

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