Quarterly Update: February – April 2024

close up photograph of a baby sea turtle hatching from its egg in the sand

In March this year, we constructed two turtle hatcheries, one each at Tanjong Jara Resort in Dungun, and the other at Pantai Chakar Hutan in Kerteh. Turtle eggs laid along our project sites, as well as those laid along the nearby adjacent beaches are immediately and carefully relocated to the hatcheries for incubation. This is to ensure that all the eggs are protected from poaching, animal predation and tide inundation. We would like to thank our funders YTL Corporation and The Habitat Foundation for sponsoring the construction of our hatcheries at Tanjong Jara and Pantai Chakar Hutan, respectively. We will be updating you on the number of hatchlings released in our next newsletter!

It’s been two months since the start of the new nesting season at our project sites, and we have some great news to share. We’ve successfully saved 35 green sea turtle nests comprising 3,093 eggs which have been incubated in our two hatcheries at Chakar Hutan and Tanjong Jara. Although no nesting has been recorded as yet at our project site on Pulau Lang Tengah, we hope to see some nestings on the island very soon!

Pantai Chakar Hutan

Total nests: 25

Total eggs: 2,190

Returning mothers: 4

Tanjong Jara

Total nests: 10

Total eggs: 903

New mothers: 3

Our team at the Chakar Hutan project site recently organised a training on public speaking for interested local communities.

The training was conducted by Hajjah Rozitah Mohd Hashim whose lively and engaging training style kept the class in rapt attention. The training provided the local communities with the necessary skills to effectively deliver turtle awareness talks during our weekly Kelas Penyu at Pantai Chakar Hutan as well as to visitors at our Visitors’ Hut. The participants will now be offered to share their knowledge during sessions with visitors which will also be an alternative income opportunity for them. We would like to thank The Habitat Foundation for sponsoring this training.

The monsoon often brings in big waves and together with it, rubbish and other forms of marine debris. This unwanted garbage can hinder a female turtle from nesting. Therefore, just before the start of the turtle nesting season, PULIHARA and Majlis Perbandaran Kemaman (MPK) collaborated to organise a beach clean-up operation at Pantai Chakar Hutan in Kerteh. The event was also attended by a local NGO, Gang Plastik Ija. A large portion of the waste collected constituted non-biodegradable items such as plastic bottles, fishing gear, and footwear, and were disposed of by the MPK.

We would like to thank MPK, GPI, and everyone else who helped us during the event.

Discover the wonders of the turtle world with Kelas Penyu, an exciting awareness programme aimed at sharing interesting nuggets of information on turtles for school children and local communities. Funded by The Habitat Foundation, our awareness program invites you to join us every second and fourth Friday at Pantai Chakar Hutan. Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn about the remarkable life of sea turtles.

Register now!

This year’s ISTS was held in Pattaya, Thailand. In view of its close proximity to the Malaysian shores, PULIHARA decided to send four of its team members to attend the symposium as delegates, where two of them presented posters.   During the ISTS also, delegates had the opportunity to network, share knowledge, and learn new things from various turtle researchers and conservation projects from all around the world, making the ISTS an invaluable experience.

Prior to the start of the nesting season this year, we completed the installation of new sanitary facilities at our research station on Pulau Lang Tengah. It is hoped that with these new installations, life at the research station will be more comfortable for all our staff, interns, and volunteers alike. We would like to thank our funder Yayasan Sime Darby for partly sponsoring the construction and installation of the new sanitary facilities at our research station.

Turtle stranding refers to a turtle found washed ashore whether alive or dead. Unfortunately, within the first four months of this year alone, we have found and recorded 12 dead turtle strandings at our project sites. One of them was a male turtle.

Without carrying out a necropsy, we were not able to determine the exact cause of death of these majestic reptiles. Nevertheless, some of the stranded turtles were found with signs of being accidentally entangled in fishing nets. Turtles have lungs and they breathe air. If they are accidentally entangled in fishing nets, they will not be able to reach the water surface to breathe. This will sadly cause them to drown. Accidental bycatch in fishing gear has been identified as one of the main threats to sea turtles, in addition to turtle egg consumption, accidental boat strikes, and habitat destruction. Accidental bycatch is an issue that needs to be addressed. Together with its other stakeholders, PULIHARA hopes to be able to address this in the near future.

By adopting, you are contributing to our conservation, research, and outreach efforts at our project sites in Pulau Lang Tengah, Tanjong Jara Resort, and Chakar Hutan, Terengganu, Malaysia. Your symbolic adoption funds our operations covering essential supplies, equipment for turtle monitoring, coral rehabilitation, beach and underwater clean-ups, and more.


Latest Articles

close up photograph of a baby sea turtle hatching from its egg in the sand

Quarterly Update: February – April 2024