45 green turtle hatchlings released at Similajau National Park

Turtle hatchlings scrambling to the surface upon hatching.

Turtle hatchlings scrambling to the surface upon hatching.

BINTULU: A total of 45 Green Turtle hatchlings were released into the sea of the beach along the coast of Similajau National Park (SNP) on the morning of Dec 13.

According to Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC), it was in fact the second batch of hatchlings released in eight days.

Four hatchlings were released on Dec 5 having hatched from another clutch of eggs incubated at the Turtle Hatchery set up under a collaboration conservation project between SFC and Petronas MLNG that is the Biodiversity, Environmental and Conservation (BEACON) Project.

“The 49 hatchlings had been hatched from two clutches of eggs totaling 134 dug out from the beach and transplanted into the Turtle Hatchery.

“SNP has recorded 6 Green Turtle nests at its beaches this year yielding a total of 490 eggs which were all transplanted to the hatchery,” said SFC in a press release today.

SNP personnel releasing the 45 hatchlings to the sea.

SNP personnel releasing the 45 hatchlings to the sea.

SFC revealed that the return of turtles to the beaches of SNP after a lapse of over 5 years is one of the successes of the BEACON project.

The last time turtles nested at SNP beaches was in July 2010. In 2015, 525 Green Turtle eggs were collected and that produced 277 hatchlings which were eventually released into the sea.

“The BEACON Project had planted a total of 1,500 units of reefballs off the coast of SNP since 2013 to serve as a passive protection and impediment against trawling activities which were detrimental to the turtles.

“The presence of the reefballs in the waters of SNP have greatly reduced trawling activities close by SNP shores thus providing protection and encouraging the return of turtles to the beaches of SNP,” SFC added.

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